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Don’t go after super profits: Kejriwal to vaccine-makers

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on April 26, 2021

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal -

Demands uniform vaccine price at ₹150 per dose

Asserting that this is not the right time for Covid-19 vaccine-makers to look at earning super profits when humanity is suffering from the pandemic, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Monday, appealed to them to bring down the prices at which they will sell vaccines directly to the States.

Kejriwal said that he preferred a regime where the vaccine is priced uniformly at ₹150 per dose, irrespective of whether the buyer is the Centre or the State governments.

Both vaccine-makers – Serum Institute of India (Covishield) and Bharat Biotech (Covaxin) – had recently announced the rates at which they would sell vaccines directly to the States and private hospitals under India’s new liberalised vaccine procurement policy.

While Serum Institute had announced a price of ₹400 per dose (for States), Bharat Biotech had announced a price of ₹600 per dose for direct procurement by the States. Both of them have agreed to sell vaccines to Centre at ₹150 per dose.

“I saw an interview of one of the vaccine-makers who said that he was making profit even at a price of ₹150 per dose charged to the Central government. If profit is available at a price of ₹150 per dose, then there is lot of profit at ₹400 per dose and ₹600 per dose. This time is such that humanity should be helped. This is not the time to profiteer,” said Kejriwal.

Delhi to provide free vaccines to those above 18 years: CM Kejriwal

Kejriwal expressed hope that vaccine-makers will bring down their prices (for those sold to States) to ₹150 per dose and pointed out that they had a whole life ahead of them to earn profits.

“Given that Covid has created so much havoc, this is not the time to make profits,” he added.

Alternately, Kejriwal suggested that the Centre should bring in price caps on vaccines, on the same lines as those implemented for various other medicines in the country.

His suggestions on Covid-19 vaccine came on a day when Delhi government decided to procure 1.34 crore vaccines for inoculation in the upcoming phase III of vaccination drive that will begin from May 1, where all citizens above 18 years will be eligible for vaccination.

India has already administered over 14 crore vaccine doses since the vaccination drive launched on January 16.

Published on April 26, 2021

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