Kolkata: Booster Covaxin price slashed, Covishield at old rate for now – Times of India

Kolkata News
KOLKATA: Private hospitals in Kolkata are prepared to roll out booster vaccines for the 18-59 age group from Sunday even though a confusion over price prevailed after vaccine manufacturers slashed their rates on Saturday.
While the prices of Covishield and Covaxin were slashed to Rs 225 per dose by the manufacturers from Rs 630 and Rs 1,150 respectively, the state health department held a virtual meeting with private hospital representatives in the evening and allowed them to sell Covishield at the existing rate till they exhausted their current stock.

Health officials, however, asked hospitals to lower the price of Covaxin immediately since its manufacturer agreed to compensate for selling the stock at a lower rate through price adjustment during future purchases.
When hospitals pointed out this may slow down the vaccination rate since recipients will be inclined to wait till the price of Covishield drops, they were told that the health department will get back to them on this.
Most hospitals, however, have decided to stick to the old Covishield price and charge less for Covaxin. But the final price of Covaxin will include a service charge of Rs 150 and GST over and above Rs 225. “So, the new price would be around 386. We will wait till the existing Covishield stock is sold at Rs 630 and then decide, unless the government comes up with a directive. We have deferred the rollout till Monday,” said RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences (RTIICS) zonal director R Venkatesh.
Medica Superspecialty Hospital will start on Sunday with 35,000 vials of Covishield and 10,000 vials of Covaxin, with the latter being offered at the reduced price. “Covaxin price will be reduced as asked by the government. Covishield will be sold at the current price of Rs 630 till we receive further instructions,” said chairperson Alok Roy, adding that footfall could rise gradually and a lot will depend on whether Covid numbers rise. “Unless there’s an outbreak again, a rush is unlikely,” he said.
AMRI Hospitals, too, have decided to slash Covaxin price, but no decision has been taken on Covishield. “Under the new pricing, each Covaxin dose will cost Rs 386.50, inclusive of GST and administration charge of Rs 150. However, there is still some confusion over pricing and consumption of vial stock remaining with hospitals, which has been extensively discussed in a meeting with Swasthya Bhavan on Saturday evening. While Bharat Biotech has given an assurance of providing credit note against existing stock, Serum Institute is yet to offer such a facility for Covishield. We will start inoculation for booster doses of the 18-59 group from Monday and hope to have some more clarity by then,” said CEO Rupak Barua.
It 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, with the latter being sold at the reduced price. The hospital authorities believe their stock will last several weeks. “We have received a communication from one of the manufacturers saying they will compensate us by charging less for future purchases if we sell at Rs 225 now. The government wants us to take that into account and effect a price cut for Covaxin. So, while the price of Covaxin will be reduced, Covishield will be sold at the existing rate since we have stock that must be exhausted before we make further purchases,” said CEO Sudipta Mitra.
Most hospitals expect turnout to remain low for a few weeks since the sense of urgency for a booster dose has waned, they said. Since the majority of recipients in Kolkata and the state are to receive Covishield, many will be inclined to wait till a price drop. “This could lead to a rush later as hospitals exhaust their current stock and order replenishments,” said a hospital head.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/kolkata-booster-covaxin-price-slashed-covishield-at-old-rate-for-now/articleshow/90754373.cms