One Nation, Different Pricing: Problems With Phase 3 Vaccination

What are the criticisms around Phase 3 of the vaccine strategy? And what would make for a better plan? Tune in!

1 min read

One nation, but different prices for the same COVID-19 vaccine shot and a whole lot of confusion.

Ahead of the rolling out of Phase 3 of India's immunisation strategy, a big debate has erupted over the different price categories set for the Centre, the state, and private hospitals, for the Covishield and Covaxin shots.

Even as the country is facing a vaccine shortage, the government has now allowed both the vaccine manufacturers to release 50 percent of their production into the open market and sell it to states and private hospitals, at a pre-decided cost.

And so, Serum Institute that manufactures Covishield, has decided to sell vaccine shots at Rs 400 per dose to states and Rs 600 per dose to private hospitals. While Covaxin's manufacturer, Bharat Biotech will be selling one dose for Rs 600 to the states and Rs 1,200 per dose to private hospitals. And all the while the Centre will be buying the exact same shots for Rs 150.

But the one question that many people are asking is why the different pricing for the same dose?

Given that the need of the hour is to vaccinate, with limited doses, differential pricing and a great deal of power for private players, there are lot of concerns about how successful this vaccine strategy will be.

So, what are the criticisms around this vaccine strategy? And what would make for a better plan? We speak to Praveen Chakravarty, a political economist and senior office-bearer of the Congress and Anjela Taneja, Inequality Campaign Lead at Oxfam India.

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