Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], April 25 (ANI): Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has written a letter to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, requesting to determine the minimum price of COVID-19 vaccine so that the entire country can avail it at the same rates.
In the letter, the Chief Minister has welcomed the Centre's decision to vaccinate citizens of age above 18 years against coronavirus, said an official statement on Saturday.
He said: "Serum Institute has informed that they will supply vaccines at the rate of Rs 400 per vaccine to the state governments and at Rs 600 per vaccine to private hospitals. The states are expected to take action for procurement of the vaccine through tender or negotiation. It is noteworthy that so far the vaccine is being supplied by Serum Institute at the rate of Rs 150."
Furthermore, he said that as per the information state received so far, Covishield is being supplied in India at the highest rates in the world.
"In view of the increasing outbreak of COVID-19 infection in the country, the vaccine rates have been increased by Serum Institute with the aim of earning extra profits," the letter stated.
The Union government is expected to fix minimum possible rate of the vaccine, under the provision "Price Control of Drugs", to protect people of the country from any form of exploitation. Since there are only two companies manufacturing vaccines in the country, there is no possibility of healthy competition or getting minimum possible rate in procurement of the vaccine through tender.
It is also certain that the procurement of vaccine following the tender rules would be a time-taking procedure.
Chief Minister has stated that the minimum rate of the vaccines should be decided by the Centre's undertaking -- Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) and all the states should be able to procure vaccine as per the requirement after making payment to BPPI. In this way, the entire country would get the vaccine at the same rates.
The Chief Minister has also requested the government to fix the minimum vaccine rates at the earliest so that the work of vaccination can be started on a large scale from May 1 onwards. (ANI)