COVID ‘free riders’: unvaccinated people may face discrimination
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New Delhi: Vaccine majors Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech on Saturday said they have decided to cut prices of the precaution dose of their respective COVID-19 vaccines to Rs 225 per shot for private hospitals after discussion with the government.

“We are pleased to announce that after discussion with the central government, SII has decided to revise the price of COVISHIELD vaccine for private hospitals from Rs 600 to Rs 225 per dose,” SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said in a tweet.

On Friday, the company had said that the precaution dose of its Covishield vaccine against COVID-19 will be priced at Rs 600 per shot for eligible individuals.

Bharat Biotech Co-Founder Joint Managing Director Suchitra Ella in a tweet said: “We welcome the decision to make available precautionary dose for all adults. In consultation with the Central Government, we have decided to revise the price of #COVAXIN from Rs 1,200 to Rs 225 per dose, for #privatehospitals.”

SII and Bharat Biotech have been major suppliers of COVID-19 vaccines to the government so far.

The Union Health Ministry on Friday announced that those above the age of 18 years who have completed nine months after the administration of the second dose will be eligible for the precaution dose.

According to the health ministry, so far, about 96 per cent of all those above the age of 15 years in India have received at least one vaccine dose, while about 83 per cent have received both doses.

More than 2.4 crore precaution doses have also been administered to healthcare workers, frontline workers and those aged above 60 years. Besides, 45 per cent of beneficiaries in the 12-14 years age group have received the first dose, the ministry said.

The ongoing free COVID-19 inoculation programme through government vaccination centres for the first and the second dose to the eligible population as well as the precaution dose to healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 60 years will be accelerated, the ministry stated.

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