NEW DELHI: Addressing the allegations regarding 'overpricing' of Covishield vaccine, Serum Institute of India (SII), which manufactures oxford- AstraZeneca vaccine has released a media statement on Saturday defending its position.
"There was an inaccurate comparison done between the global prices of the vaccine with India. Covisheld is the most affordable Covid-19 vaccine available in the market today" SII said.
The company clarified that the initial prices were kept very low as it was based on advance funding and currently it has to scale up it's manufacturing to meet extremely gruelling needs.
The initial price, it said, was "kept low globally as it was based on advance funding given by those countries for at risk vaccine manufacturing." said SII
SII also 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.
The vaccine makers had earlier announced a price of Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals and at Rs 400 per dose for state governments and any new contract by the central government. It currently charges Central government Rs 150 per dose. This differential pricing of covid-19 vaccines have also received harsh criticism, saying its discriminatory and inequitable and would benefit only a big industrialists.