Covishield not being sold under $3 per dose anywhere in the world, says SII
Serum Institute of India (SII), the manufacturer of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca, has clarified that a dose of Covishield was not being sold under $3 (approximately ₹220 as of Tuesday’s currency value) anywhere in the world.
“Nowhere on the planet is the AstraZeneca product, Covishield, made by us or AstraZeneca sold under $3. ...no one understands the complete picture,” said SII CEO Adar Poonawalla.
SII said the government has purchased the first batch of 11 million doses for ₹210 per dose. It added the cost includes Goods and Service Tax. SII maintained Covishield is one of the world’s lowest-priced Covid-19 vaccines.
The Congress on Sunday accused the Centre of spending more on Covid-19 vaccines. It said Covishield costs ₹200 per dose in India and ₹158 per dose in Belgium, quoting an article of The Guardian that cited a Belgian minister’s tweet about the cost of vaccines being sold to the European Union (EU).
“AstraZeneca earlier said that it would supply the vaccine at no profit. Then why is the government of India paying ₹200 for the AstraZeneca vaccine to Serum Institute of India?” asked Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala.
Poonawalla said the price being quoted for EU is just 50% of the cost while the other 50% would be paid by the respective member countries.
“What they have failed to say is that it is only 50%... balance 50% will get paid by the European Union. So, it is 1.7$ 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,” said Poonawala.
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