Biocon Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw on Sunday hit out at the government capping COVID-19 vaccine price at Rs 250 at private hospitals, saying vaccine companies "feel betrayed" as it is too low to sustain.
Reacting to a report that the health ministry has fixed Rs 250 per shot at private hospitals and health centres, she tweeted, "We r (sic) crushing instead of incentivising vaccine industry."
She further said, "Covid Vaccine Jab Capped At Rs 250 At Private Hospitals: Government - understand vaccine cos (sic) feel betrayed as price is too low to sustain."
Mazumdar-Shaw asked, "If WHO has agreed to USD 3 per dose, why beat them down to USD 2?"
The government''s capping of the vaccine price at private hospitals comes at a time when India is preparing to vaccinate people aged above 60 years and those over 45 with co-morbidities from March 1.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be given free of cost at government hospitals, while people will need to pay for it at private facilities.It is understood that the Rs 250 ceiling per dose includes Rs 150 per dose of vaccine plus Rs 100 service charge.