Serum Institute says Covishield not being sold under $3 per dose anywhere in the world
Serum Institute of India (SII) has clarified that a dose of Covishield was not being sold under $3 anywhere in the world. This clarification came after Congress accused the Centre on spending more for the COVID-19 vaccines.
Serum Institute of India is the manufacturer of the Covid vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca. The institute has made very clear that a dose of Covishield, anywhere in the world, was not being sold under $3. As of Tuesday’s currency value $3 is approximately ₹220.
The CEO of SII, Adar Poonawalla, said, “Nowhere on the planet is the AstraZeneca product, Covishield, made by us or AstraZeneca sold under $3. …no one understands the complete picture.”
The Covishield vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India is one of the world’s lowest-priced Covid-19 vaccines. SII clarified that the government has purchased the first batch of 11 million doses for ₹210/dose. This cost included Goods and Service Tax as well.
On Sunday, Congress pointed fingers at Centre and accused them of spending more on Covid-19 vaccines. The party quoted an article of The Guardian and said that Covishield costs ₹200 per dose in India and ₹158 per dose in Belgium. The article cited a Belgian minister’s tweet about the cost of vaccines being sold to the European Union (EU).
Congress spokesperson raised questions at Centre and said, “AstraZeneca earlier said that it would supply the vaccine at no profit. Then why is the government of India paying ₹200 for the AstraZeneca vaccine to Serum Institute of India?”
Adar Poonawalla replied to the accusations and said that the price being quoted in the article is just 50% of the cost. The other 50% would be paid by the respective member countries.
“What they have failed to say is that it is only 50%… balance 50% will get paid by the European Union. So, it is 1.7$ roughly and another 50% will come from the EU. So, it will be more than $3. You can reach out to the Belgian government and they will also confirm this,” he said.
The Drug Controller General of India had granted restricted, emergency use authorization to Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.