The COVID-19 vaccine costs in India is the highest in the world, according to a Times of India report.
In most nations around the world, people are paying from their own pocket to get a COVID vaccination. Initially, the central government was buying both Covishield and Covaxin vaccines at ₹150 per dose and later giving them to state governments. Private hospitals were allowed to charge ₹100 per dose.
However, the cost of the vaccines at many hospitals currently ranges from ₹700 to ₹1500. The rates of the vaccines vary from hospital to hospital, even within a city.
In Mumbai, the Covishield vaccine is available at ₹700 and ₹900 at HN Reliance and Max hospital, respectively. In Delhi, Covishiled is available at ₹850 in Apollo hospitals and at ₹900 in Max hospital.
Last week, a plea challenging the variation in rates in COVID vaccines for the Centre and state was filed in the Bombay High Court. The petition also sought directions to the Covishield manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SSI) and Covaxin manufacturer Bharat Biotech to sell their vaccines at ₹150 per dose.
According to the government, the private companies are supplying half of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the Centre and are free to distribute the rest in the open market and to the state governments.
"At a time when the entire nation is dealing COVID-19 pandemic, price control by the government is a must, and such kind of loot and blackmail should not be permitted," the petition said. It added that the different prices could also result in discrimination among states.
The plea alleged that the Central government would supply vaccine to the BJP ruled states but the states where is the chief minister is not from the saffron party or its alliance would not get the vaccine, and they would be forced to purchase it at a higher rate.
The petitioner also requested the High Court to revoke and set aside the prices declared by the SII for Covishield and by the Bharat Biotech for Covaxin.
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