New Delhi: Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila has reportedly agreed to bring down the price of price of each dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to ₹265 a dose following persistent negotiations by the government but a final deal is yet to be reached, sources said on Sunday.
“The company has brought down the price to ₹265 for each dose. Additionally, ₹93 will be charged as the cost of a disposable jet applicator. This was achieved after repeated negotiations with the central government. A final decision in this matter is likely to be taken this week,” officials familiar with developments said.
To administer the needle-free ZyCov-D vaccine, a disposable painless jet applicator costing ₹93 is required for each dose, which would take the price to ₹358 per dose.
The three doses are to be administered 28 days apart, with each dose comprising a shot in both arms.
Zydus Cadila, the firm behind ZyCoV-D, one of India’s two indigenous jabs against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), had earlier proposed ₹1900 for the regimen, which comprises three doses and is yet to be included in the nationwide inoculation drive, which commenced on January 16 this year.
The Ahmedabad-based pharma company earlier had proposed a price of ₹1,900 for its three-dose regimen, a source had said.
The indigenously developed world’s first DNA-based needle-free COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D received emergency use authorisation from the drug regulator on August 20, making it the first vaccine to be administered to those aged 12 years and above.
Meanwhile, the government is still waiting for the recommendations from the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) for introducing ZyCoV-D in the inoculation drive for adults and children with co-morbities.
NTAGI will provide the protocol and framework for the introduction of this vaccine in the Covid-19 immunisation drive.
Official sources earlier had said that the pricing of ZyCoV-D would be different than Covaxin and Covishield as apart from being a three-dose vaccine, it requires a special pharma jet injector that has to be used for administering the vaccine.
That pharma jet injector can be used for administering around 20,000 doses. “The jet applicator helps the vaccine fluid to penetrate the skin to enter cells of the recipient,” the source said.
The government is currently procuring two other vaccines — Covishield at ₹205 per dose and Covaxin at ₹215 per dose — for the national Covid-19 immunisation programme.
Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V are being given to only those above 18 years of age and unlike ZyCoV-D, these are two-dose regimens.