Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech announced on April 24 that its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin will be sold at Rs 600 per dose to states, and Rs 1,200 per dose to private hospitals during the third phase of India's coronavirus vaccination drive.“Following the Govt of India directives, we announce the prices of COVAXIN vaccines - Rs 600 per dose for state hospitals and Rs 1,200 per dose for private hospitals,” Bharat Biotech said in a statement.
Bharat Biotech - COVAXIN® Announcement pic.twitter.com/cKvmFPfKlr
— BharatBiotech (@BharatBiotech) April 24, 2021
Bharat Biotech further announced that it will also export Covaxin and the export price of the COVID vaccine would be between $15-$20, i.e., between Rs 1,100 to Rs 1,500 approximately.Stating that it is “deeply concerned” about the current COVID-19 situation in India and the rest of the world, the company said: “Bharat Biotech is honoured to develop, manufacture, and supply Covaxin for India’s vaccine rollout at Rs 150 per dose, which is distributed for free by the Government of India. We would like to state that more than 50 percent of our capacities have been reserved for central government supplies.”
The Serum Institute of India (SII), which is manufacturing Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield, has said it will charge private hospitals Rs 600 per dose and state governments Rs 400 per dose.
SII will also be reserving 50 percent of its capacities to support the Government of India’s vaccination programme.
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.