NEW DELHI: In a late night affidavit filed in the
said differential pricing of vaccines by manufacturers for the Union government, state governments and private hospitals would have no impact on citizens who would be given the vaccine free of cost.
In the affidavit, the
said, “Price factor (of the vaccines) will not have any impact on the ultimate beneficiary, namely the eligible person getting the vaccine since all state governments have already declared their policy decision that each state will be administering vaccine to its residents, free of cost.”
It added, “Due to consultations and ‘persuasion’ by the Centre, both the manufacturers of vaccine,
Serum Institute of India
, have declared their respective prices which are uniform for all state governments. It is pertinent to note that the central government by nature of its large vaccination programme, places large purchase orders for vaccines as opposed to the state governments and/or private hospitals and, therefore, this reality has some reflection in the prices negotiated.”
“Thus, while it is ensured that the two vaccine manufacturers are not unduly enriched from out of public money, the citizens are not supposed to make any payment for getting both doses of the vaccine.”
However, it also said the economics of the vaccine manufacturers must be borne in mind. “Till date, there are only vaccines available from two vaccine manufacturers. Both manufacturers have taken financial risk in developing and manufacturing these jabs and it is prudent to take decisions on pricing through negotiations in a transparent consultative process keeping statutory provisions as a last resort under the present circumstances,” it said.
“With a view to ensure that there is no disparity between the states inter-se, with active consultation of the Centre with both the firms, the Centre has fixed uniform prices to be paid by all states,” it added.