As part of the revised Covid 19 vaccine policy, the Government late on Tuesday issued an order specifying the prices for administration of three approved Covid vaccines in private hospitals across India.
Accordingly, the maximum price that can be charged per dose by private vaccine centres is Rs 780 for Covishield, Rs 1,410 for Covaxin and Rs 1,145 for Sputnik V, the Union Health Ministry said in an order on Tuesday. The State governments would be entrusted with ensuring that these price barriers were not breached and if, in future, vaccine prices decline, it would influence the maximum cap.
The high price of COVID-19 vaccines at private hospitals is “unacceptable”, and the revised vaccination policy will see reductions, said V.K. Paul, Chairman of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19, on Tuesday.
Dr. Paul’s remarks came a day after the Centre announced a revised vaccine policy from June 21 in which everyone above 18 will be entitled for free vaccines at government centres and State governments will no longer need to compete to buy vaccines.
Private hospitals have, however, expressed reservations over the changed norms. The larger hospital chains that dominate vaccine procurement say the price is too low given the higher costs the hospitals incur, and the government should aim to reduce the vaccine prices for the private hospitals as well.