Vaccine price: Kerala may face liability of crores

Thiruvananthapuram: The state government will face liability of crores as the central government changed its policy and decided to charge a high price for COVID vaccine. The Kerala government had decided to administer the COVID vaccine free of cost irrespective of the price charged by the companies.

It is observed that the new government which comes to power in May would not be able to withdraw the decision on free vaccination. The liability to the government depends on the number of people above 18 years who get the vaccine from the government centres.

It is assessed that the government need to find a huge amount of around Rs 750 cr to Rs 1000  cr for the vaccination.

Serum Institute of India, manufactures of Covishield vaccine, declared that they will distribute the vaccine to state governments for Rs 400 per dose. Private hospitals will get the vaccine at Rs 600 per dose.

Bharat Biotech, the manufactures of Covaxin have not announced the rate so far.

From next month, private hospitals will be able to purchase the vaccine directly from manufactures. With this, private hospitals are likely to charge a price for each dose of vaccine.

At the same time, the central government has declared that health workers, COVID frontline warriors and people above 45 years will get the vaccine for free.

Till date, 74 percent of health workers and 57 percent of frontline warriors received the second dose. The government targeted to vaccinate 1.13 cr people above 45 years in the state. But only 40 percent of them received the first dose and 16 percent took the second dose.