New Delhi: Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of coronavirus vaccine Covaxin on Thursday announced that it has reduced the price of the vaccine supplied to state governments. The company issued a statement saying that now the state governments will have to pay Rs 400 for one dose of vaccine.

Earlier, Bharat Biotech had priced one dose of Covaxin for the state governments at Rs 600 and for private hospitals at Rs 1,200. The company has made this reduction only for the state governments and private hospitals will still have to pay Rs 1,200 for one dose.

This comes just a day after the CEO of Serum Institute of India, Adar Poonawalla, announced a reduction in the prices of Covishield. Poonawala said that he has reduced the price fixed for the states from Rs 400 to Rs 300 so that more and more people can get the benefit of the vaccine. 

"As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of Serum Institute of India, I hereby reduce the price to the states from Rs 400 to Rs 300 per dose, effective immediately; this will save thousands of crores of state funds going forward. This will enable more vaccinations and save countless lives," Poonawalla tweeted.

The SII manufactures the Covishield vaccine, while Bharat Biotech is the manufacturer of Covaxin.

Recently, the Centre announced that everyone above the age of 18 will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the vaccination drive beginning May 1. Several important decisions were taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding pricing, procurement, eligibility and administration of vaccines being made flexible in Phase 3 of the world's largest vaccination drive.

Vaccine manufacturers have been incentivised to further scale up their production, as well as attract new national and international players. They are empowered to release up to 50 per cent of their supply to state governments and in the open market at a pre-declared price.

States are empowered to procure additional vaccine doses directly from the manufacturers, as well as open up vaccination to any category of people above the age of 18 for the same.

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