New Delhi: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Thursday alleged that the pharmaceutical companies Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech are profiteering at the expense of the common man.
“Price of each vaccine should be capped at ₹150/dose. The current prices are exorbitant. @SerumInstIndia @BharatBiotech are profiting with about Rs 16000 crore each at the expense of the common man,” the Health Minister tweeted along with the figures of estimated profit of SII through sale of COVID vaccine Covishield.
SII and Bharat Biotech are making shots that are currently used in the country’s Covid-19 vaccination drive.
Mr Jain called on to augment the supply of vaccination, by allowing the formula of Covishield and Covaxin to be shared with all Indian Manufacturers. “This will facilitate mass production in order to vaccinate the citizens of India,” the Health Minister averred.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too had on Tuesday urged the Centre to share COVID-19 vaccine formulas and allow more companies to manufacture doses.
Mr Jain also requested the central government to import vaccine doses from abroad at a national level rather than “leaving states to fend for themselves in international markets”.
His comments on vaccine procurement came just a day after Mr Sisodia heavily censured the Centre for exporting vaccines to other countries and ‘pitting states against each other’ for procurement of doses in the international market.
‘Although States are willing to pass tenders if the need arises, it is important for the world to see India as one entity instead of a divided nation-state. After all, it is the responsibility of the Central Government to ensure availability of vaccine to all states while States make sure that all citizens are vaccinated in a swift manner, within 3 months after receiving vaccine from Central Government,’ Mr Sisodia had said in a press conference.
The Delhi government has shut 100 centres in 17 government schools which administered Covaxin to the 18-44 age group, owing to the shortage of the vaccine.