New Delhi, April 9:
A day before Covid vaccine booster shots become available to all Indian adults, the prices of Covishield and Covaxin at private hospitals have been slashed by more than half. Both the vaccine doses will now cost Rs 225.
While Covishield has been slashed from Rs 600, Covaxin is down from Rs 1,200 per dose. Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla and Bharat Biotech cofounder Suchitra Ella made the announcement on Twitter today. The decision was taken after discussions with the Centre. Poonawala had said that Covishield will cost Rs 600 plus taxes.
"We are pleased to announce that after discussion with the Central Government, SII has decided to revise the price of COVISHIELD vaccine for private hospitals from Rs.600 to ₹ 225 per dose. We once again commend this decision from the Centre to open precautionary dose to all 18+," Poonawala tweeted.
The Union Health Ministry announced that those above the age of 18 years who have completed 9 months after the administration of the second dose will be eligible for the precaution dose.
Poonawala welcomed the Centre's announcement yesterday. Calling it a crucial and timely decision, he said people who wished to travel were finding it difficult to do so without a third dose as several countries have placed restrictions on those who have not taken a booster dose.
About 96% of the 15 and above population in the country have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose while about 83% of has received both doses, it added.
More than 2.4 crore precaution doses have also been administered to healthcare workers, frontline workers and those aged above 60 years. Besides, 45% of beneficiaries in the 12-14 years age group have received the first dose, said the Ministry.