Free To Rs 2,820— Covid-19 Vaccine Price

People wait to pay before receiving a dose of Covishield at a Covid-19 vaccination center set up at the BLK Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi. (Photographer: Sumit Dayal/Bloomberg)

Free To Rs 2,820— Covid-19 Vaccine Price

For most Indians, Covid-19 vaccination of two doses will come free. But some may pay between Rs 780 to Rs 1,410 per dose.

According to the central government’s new vaccine policy, announced by the Prime Minister on June 7, all Indians will have access to free vaccination. The federal government will procure 75% of domestic production and allocate it to states for free that will in turn administer it free via government vaccination centres.

A fourth of domestic production will be made available via private hospitals to those willing to pay. Private hospitals can charge up to Rs 150 as service charge above the vaccine cost, the new policy mandates.

Based on the vaccine prices announced by the three domestic vaccine suppliers, Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. with 5% GST and the service charge, the maximum price per dose works out to;

  • Covishield: Rs 780.
  • Covaxin: Rs 1,410.
  • Sputnik V: Rs 1,145.

This is as per a health ministry memorandum to states. States have been asked to monitor that private hospitals do not overcharge.

Who Has To Pay?

Individuals can opt to be vaccinated free at a government vaccination centre under the centre's free vaccination plan or choose to go to a private hospital and pay.

All citizens irrespective of their income status are entitled to free vaccination. Those who have the ability to pay are encouraged to use private hospital’s vaccination centres.
Revised Vaccine Policy Guidelines - June 8

The decision will for most depend on affordability, availability and convenience.

The affordability of the vaccine available at the private hospital—Covishield is the cheapest as of now.

As per the revised guidelines issued on June 8, the free vaccination programme will prioritise healthcare and frontline workers, those above 45 years of age, those whose second dose has become due and then those between 18-44 years.

Given that a fourth of domestic production will be made available via private hospitals, vaccine availability may be easier to access through them.

In recent weeks, many companies, housing societies and other groups have tied up with private hospitals for group vaccinations at a place and time of their choice.

Though some private hospitals have pointed out that the new cap on service fee makes it unviable for them to offer off-site vaccination camps.

Also read: Modi’s Vaccine Policy Comes Half Undone – And That’s A Good Thing

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