New Delhi [India], April 21 (ANI): Senior Congress leader and former union minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday questioned the Centre about how many persons between 18 and 44 years can afford to pay Rs 400 per dose of Covishield.
"As anticipated, the price of Covishield vaccine has been fixed at Rs 400 for government hospitals and Rs 600 for private hospitals. Who will pay Rs 400 for one dose in government hospitals? The state government or the beneficiary?" tweeted Chidambaram.
"How many persons between 18 and 44 years can afford to pay Rs 400 per dose? Will the beneficiary be burdened with the cost? How many states would be willing to pay the price of the vaccine and subsidise the people?" he said.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi also attacked the Centre over the pricing issue of Covishield vaccine.
"Disaster is of the country...Opportunity for Modi friends...the injustice of the central government!" tweeted Rahul Gandhi.
Earlier on Wednesday, Serum Institute of India (SII) fixed the prices of Covishield vaccine at Rs 400 per dose for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.
"Following the Government of India directives, we are announcing the prices of the Covishield vaccine - Rs 400 per dose for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals," it said.
SII further said the company will serve 50 per cent of the total production to the Government of India's vaccination program, and the remaining 50 per cent of the capacity will be for the State governments and private hospitals.
"Furthermore, owing to the complexity, and urgency of the situation it is challenging to supply it independently to each corporate entity. We would urge all corporate and private individuals to access the vaccines through the state-facilitated machinery and private health systems. Post 4-5 months, the vaccines will be made available in retail and free trade," the company said.
Everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1, the central government said on Monday and also liberalised the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers. (ANI)