Zydus proposes ₹1,900 for its vaccine; talks on to cut price
With talks underway between the central government and Zydus Cadila over the pricing of the Covid-19 vaccine ZyCov-D, the pharma company is learnt to have proposed a price of ₹1,900 for its three-dose jab that can be given to those above 12 years of age.
However, the government is negotiating for a reduction in price and a final decision on it is likely to be taken this week, people aware of the developments told PTI.
The government had on Thursday said that the indigenously-developed, world’s first DNA-based needle-free COVID-19 vaccine by Zydus Cadila will be introduced in the nationwide anti-coronavirus vaccination drive shortly.
“The company has proposed a price of ₹1,900 inclusive of taxes for its three-dose jab... Negotiations are on. The company has been asked to reconsider all the aspects regarding the cost of the vaccine. A final decision on the price of the vaccine is likely to be taken this week,” the people said.
Another person aware of the matter said the ZyCoV-D has to be differently priced than Covaxin and Covishield as, apart from being a three-dose vaccine, there is a needle-free jet injector used for administering the vaccine that costs ₹30,000.
That jet injector can be used for administering around 20,000 doses. The vaccine is to be given on days zero, 28 and 56.
According to the people quoted above, around three rounds of meetings have taken place so far between the Centre and the company, the last one on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the ministry is also waiting for the recommendations from the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI ) for introducing ZyCoV-D in the inoculation drive and prioritising beneficiaries focusing on those aged 12-18 years with comorbidities.
On the price of the vaccine, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on Thursday that the government is in conversation with the manufacturers.
“Since this is a three-dose vaccine and comes with a needleless delivery system, it would have a differential pricing than the existing vaccines which are being used in the Covid vaccination programme,” he said.
ZyCoV-D received Emergency Use Authorisation from the drug regulator on August 20 making it the first vaccine to be administered in the age-group of 12 to 18.