While the prices of Covishield and Covaxin have been reduced to Rs 225 per dose by the manufacturers of Rs 630 and Rs 1,150 respectively, the state health department has held a virtual meeting with representatives of private hospitals in the evening and allowed them to sell Covishield at the current price. until their current stock is exhausted.
Health officials, however, have asked hospitals to immediately lower the price of Covaxin since its manufacturer has agreed to offset the sale of stock at a lower rate with a price adjustment on future purchases.
When hospitals pointed out that this could slow the rate of vaccination since recipients would be inclined to wait for the price of Covishield to drop, they were told that the health department would respond to them on this.
However, most hospitals have decided to stick with the old Covishield price and charge less for Covaxin. But the final price of Covaxin will include service charge of Rs 150 and GST beyond Rs 225.” So the new price would be around 386. We will wait until the existing stock of Covishield is sold at Rs 630 , then we will decide, unless the government comes up with a directive. We have postponed the deployment to Monday,” said R Venkatesh, area director of the RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences (RTIICS).
The Medica Superspecialty Hospital will start on Sunday with 35,000 vials of Covishield and 10,000 vials of Covaxin, the latter being offered at a reduced price. “The price of Covaxin will be reduced as requested by the government. Covishield will be sold at the current price of Rs 630 until we receive further instructions,” President Alok Roy said, adding that footfall may increase gradually and that a lot will depend on whether the Covid numbers go up. “Unless there is an outbreak again, a rush is unlikely,” he said.
AMRI hospitals have also decided to significantly reduce the price of Covaxin, but no decision has been made regarding Covishield. “According to the new price, each dose of Covaxin will cost Rs 386.50 including GST and Rs 150 administration fee. with Swasthya Bhavan on Saturday night. While Bharat Biotech has given assurances to provide a credit note on existing stock, Serum Institute has not yet offered such a facility for Covishield. We will start the inoculation for the booster doses of group 18-59 from Monday and I hope to have more clarity by then,” CEO Rupak Barua said.
She now has 6,500 doses of Covaxin and 1,500 doses of Covishield.
Peerless Hospital is ready with 9,000 doses each of Covishield and Covaxin, the latter being sold at a reduced price. Hospital authorities estimate that their stock will last for several weeks. “We have received a communication from one of the manufacturers saying that they will compensate us by charging less for future purchases if we sell at Rs 225 now. The government wants us to take this into account and make a price cut for Covaxin So while the price of Covaxin will be reduced, Covishield will be sold at the current rate since we have inventory that needs to be depleted before making new purchases,” said CEO Sudipta Mitra.
Most hospitals expect attendance to remain low for a few weeks as the sense of urgency for a booster dose has waned, they said. Since the majority of Kolkata and state recipients are to receive Covishield, many will be inclined to wait for a price drop. “This could lead to a rush later on as hospitals deplete their current stock and order resupplies,” a hospital chief said.