After Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech has also slashed the rates of Covaxin for states to Rs. 400 from Rs. 600 per dose. The development comes after Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla announced that it will slash the rates of its COVID-19 vaccine Covishield for states as a ‘philanthropic gesture’.


The decision to slash vaccine price comes at a time when the nation is just days away from initiating the III phase of the vaccination drive. In the III phase, any adult above the age of 18 years will be eligible to get vaccinated. Moreover, in this phase of the inoculation drive, the vaccine makers will be giving 50% of the vaccines made to the Central govt while they will be free to sell the remaining 50% to the states and free market.

Also read: COVID-19 Vaccination Drive Phase 3: Starting May 1 everyone above 18 eligible to be vaccinated

States oppose pricing model; Centre asks vaccine makers to cut prices

Earlier this week, the Central govt asked both Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech to slash the prices of their vaccines due to uproar from states that have accused companies of discrimination and profiteering. The decision was taken during a high-level meeting that was chaired by Rajiv Gauba, Cabinet Secretary of India.

Delhi’s CM Arvind Kejriwal, who has been in the news for locking horns with Centre amid the oxygen shortage in his state, objected to the pricing and said that these are not times to go after profits but to prioritize humanity. In a video message he urged vaccine manufacturers to sell the vaccines to the state at the same price its selling to the Centre, which is Rs. 150 per dose.

Opposition party Congress also condemned the pricing policy and called it “discriminatory”. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “Assuming that states will provide 50 per cent vaccination and individuals will bear 50 per cent of vaccination cost, the profit of the two vaccine manufacturers — Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech – will be Rs 1.1 lakh crores”.

Serum Institute’s CEO Slashes Rates

On Wednesday this week, Adar Poonawalla announced that he has slashed the price of his company’s COVID-19 vaccine Covishield for states to Rs. 300 per dose from Rs. 400 per dose.  The CEO of the world’s largest vaccine company took to Twitter and wrote, “As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of @SerumInstIndia, 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.”

After Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech follows suit

Just one day after Adar Poonawalla announced the new price for Covishield vaccines for states, Bharat Biotech, who’s responsible for manufacturing the second approved vaccine Covaxin, announced that it has reduced the price of the vaccine for states.

In an official statement published on Twitter, the company expressed “deep concern” over the current situation in the country. The company in its statement also said that it is “recognizing the enormous challenges to the public healthcare system”. “We have made Covaxin available to State Governments at a price of Rs. 400/dose,” the statement further added.

It should be noted that the Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company had decided to sell the Covaxin to the states at Rs. 600 per dose and Rs. 1200 to the private hospitals.


On Thursday, April 29, the country reported 3,86,654 fresh COVID-19 cases taking the overall tally to 1,87,54,984. This is the most number of cases India has reported since the pandemic began in 2020. In another distressing news, India reported over 3,000 fatalities for the third day in a row on Thursday. A total of 3,501 people lost their lives taking the total death tally to 2,08,313.