COVID-19 | National

Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech cut COVID-19 vaccine prices

A health worker shows Covaxin and Covishield during a vaccination drive in New Delhi. File

A health worker shows Covaxin and Covishield during a vaccination drive in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Pharma majors Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech on Saturday announced a steep reduction in prices of their COVID vaccines — Covishield and Covaxin — available at private hospitals as the Union Health Ministry capped the service charges for the precautionary doses at ₹150.

In a tweet, Adar Poonawalla CEO of SII said: “SII has decided to revise the price of Covishield vaccine for private hospitals from ₹600 to ₹225 per dose.” Suchitra Ella, co–founder and Joint Managing Director, Bharat Biotech, also tweeted: “We have decided to revise the price of Covaxin from ₹1,200 to ₹225 per dose for private hospitals.”

In guidelines issued on Saturday, the Health Ministry said private COVID vaccination centres must declare the price per dose charged by them on Co-WIN, in accordance with the prices declared by the manufacturers and can collect a maximum of ₹150 as service charges for vaccination over and above the cost of the vaccine. Also they must declare their correct stocks of vaccines on Co-WlN and must use the app’s procurement module for vaccine stocks

Healthcare and frontline workers and citizens aged 60 years or more shall continue to receive precaution dose vaccination at any CVC, including free vaccination at government vaccination centers, the Ministry added.

It said no fresh registrations would be required for precaution dose as all due beneficiaries are already registered on Co-WIN, adding that all vaccinations must mandatorily be recorded on the platform and both the options of “online appointment” and “walk-in” registration and vaccination will be available at private Covid care centres .

Same vaccine

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the precaution dose will be of the same vaccine administered in the first and second doses. The Ministry had organised an orientation meeting of the Health Secretaries of States/UTs earlier this week on precaution dose for 18–59 years old population at private CVCs.

“Detailed orientation of State officials was done on various new provisions made on CoWIN platform for the expansion of eligible population for precaution dose and also correction of vaccination certificates by citizens,’’ said the Ministry.

It said the States and the Union Territories were also advised to accelerate the administration of ongoing free COVID-19 vaccination with the first and second doses to 12+ years population and optimal administration of precaution dose for healthcare, frontline workers and those over 60 years at government centres.

SMS alerts

It said the Co-WlN system shall send SMS to all citizens eligible for precaution dose based on the details of earlier vaccinations recorded in it. A confirmation SMS is sent by the Co-WlN system immediately after successful recording of vaccination events to the mobile number used for vaccination of citizens.

The verifier/vaccinator must confirm if the citizen has received the confirmation SMS and the verifier/vaccination must generate the certificate of the beneficiary and provide it to the beneficiary.

“The details of precaution dose vaccination would be reflected by the Co-WlN system in the certificate. Beneficiaries can also download the updated certificate themselves by logging in to the Co-WlN system or through Digi-locker or Arogya Setu and other existing applications,’’ said the Ministry.


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Printable version | Apr 10, 2022 8:31:30 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/precaution-dose-service-charge-cannot-exceed-150-says-health-ministry/article65305836.ece