Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech on Thursday slashed the price of its indigenous Covid-19 vaccine candidate 'Covaxin' to ₹400 per dose for state government to procure it. Earlier, the company had kept the price at ₹600 for one dose. The reduction in Covaxin's price for states comes just a day after Serum Institute of India also reduced Covishield prices by 25% to ₹300.On price reduction of Covaxin, Bharat Biotech said, "Recognising the enormous challenges to the public health care system, we have made Covaxin available to state government at ₹400 per dose".
"We wish to be transparent in our approach to pricing which was determined by internally funded product development, several operationally-intensive BSL-3 manufacturing facilities, and clinical trial," it added. Eariler, central government had asked Bharat Biotech to lower the price of their Covid-19 vaccines amid criticism from several states who have accused the companies of profiteering from the crisis. Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech previously fixed the price of Covaxin at Rs 600 per dose for state governments, and Rs 1,200 per dose for private hospitals. The Centre has also relaxed its vaccination strategy in the third phase of the mass inoculation programme, under which everyone above the age of 18 will be eligible for a shot from May 1.In the new vaccine regime, manufacturers will supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL)-released doses to the central government, and will be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent to state governments and the open market.