Bharat Biotech might price its COVID-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin lower than Covishield, the jab from Serum Institute of India (SII).
The Hyderabad-based company is expected to sign a final contract with the government soon, the Business Standard reported. Deciding the cost is taking time since the government is trying to negotiate the best possible price.
"Bharat Biotech is likely to price its vaccine very competitively and lower than its competitor. Historically, too, the firm has quoted competitive prices to supply in India," a source told the paper.
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Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.
Bharat Biotech has not yet responded when contacted by the publication.
SII plans to price the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at Rs 200 per dose for the Indian government, and Rs 1,000 for the private market.
Bharat Biotech Managing Director Krishna Ella has earlier said pricing of Covaxin would depend on volumes.
Also read: Here's how SII's Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin stack up against each other
On January 3, the two vaccines were approved for restricted emergency by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
Bharat Biotech has not yet provided efficacy data of Covaxin, which is still in the third phase of clinical trials.
"Right now the vaccine has been allowed a roll out in clinical trial mode, which means that receivers will have to give consent before getting a jab and they would be followed up regularly. The prices would thus be low," a source told the paper.
Both vaccines against the coronavirus are two dose regimens and can be stored at 2–8 degrees Centigrade (refrigerator temperature).
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on January 2 said the vaccine will be given free of cost to the "most prioritised beneficiaries", which includes 1 crore healthcare and 2 crore frontline workers.