In an official statement released by the company, SII defended pricing of Covishield vaccine saying that now it would have to invest in scaling up and expanding capacity to produce more doses of the vaccine.
“The current situation is extremely dire, the virus is constantly mutating while the public remains at risk. Identifying the uncertainty, we have to ensure sustainability as we must be able to invest in scaling up and expanding our capacity to fight the pandemic and save lives,” the statement said.
We at @SerumInstIndia have for the past five decades been at the forefront of supplying vaccines and saving lives g… https://t.co/VFURmdG28A
— SerumInstituteIndia (@SerumInstIndia) 1619259243000
SII is one of the largest vaccine makers globally and manufactures AstraZeneca’s vaccine Covishield at its Pune facility.
Earlier this week, the vaccine maker announced a price of Rs 600 per dose and at Rs 400 for state governments and any new contract by the central government.
This compared to Rs 150 per dose it charges the central government for the existing supplies.
“There was an inaccurate comparison done between the global prices of the vaccine with India,” SII said. “Covisheld is the most affordable Covid-19 vaccine available in the market today.”
SII said the initial price was “kept low globally as it was based on advance funding given by those countries for at risk vaccine manufacturing.”
“The initial supply price of Covishield for all government immunization programme, including India, has been the lowest,” it said.
SII went on to add that only a limited portion of SII’s volume will be sold to private hospitals at Rs 600 per dose.
“The price of the vaccine is still lower than a lot of other medical treatment and essentials required to treat Covid-19 and other life threatening diseases,” it added.
(With inputs from PTI)