Apollo Hospitals said it will be offering both the COVID-19 vaccines Covishield and Covaxin. Vaccine manufacturers Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech have fixed the price of their vaccines Covishield at Rs 600 and Covaxin at Rs 1,200, respectively. Apollo said it would be charging Rs 200 as administration charges over and above the prices fixed by the manufacturers.
Fortis said it would be charging Rs 1250 per dose for Covaxin, that includes the administration charges. Max which is offering Covaxin is yet to announce its administration charges.
Apollo Hospitals said it has made arrangements to procure the vaccines directly from the manufacturers, as per the Government directive.
The announcement from private hospitals comes even as 15 state governments have said that they will not able to extend COVID-19 vaccination to 18 to 44 years from May 1, as they are yet to finalise procurement contracts with manufacturers.
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.
As per the government guidelines, the vaccines will be administered to eligible individuals who have registered on the CoWIN app.
Apollo Hospitals said the vaccination roll out will begin with limited quantities and be ramped up in the weeks ahead. Fortis said its centres in North India will begin offering vaccination from tomorrow, while its centres in others cities will begin in later weeks.
Apollo Hospitals said it will also be organizing special camps for corporates. The vaccines would be priced as per the guidelines issued by the Central Government.
“The government’s decision to open up the vaccination program and permit private hospitals to procure vaccines directly from the manufacturers is a much-required step to counter the COVID-19 threat," Shobana Kamineni, Executive Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Group said in a statement."The success of the Government and private sector working together inthe area of testing for COVID-19 played a major role in the country’s success in controlling the spread of the vaccine last year," Kamineni added.