What is the real trouble of the states?

May 22 2021

Various state governments in India are rolling out ‘Global Tenders’ for vaccine manufacturers across the world to purchase vaccines for the people of their states. A Congress-ruled state of North India has also floated a global tender for bulk purchase of vaccine but surprisingly Serum Institute of India, manufacturers of Covishield in India, has not participated in the tender instead its mother company Sweden’s AstraZeneca has shown interest in the tenders but at much higher rates than those of the SII. Dr. Reddy’s laboratory has the right to manufacture Russian vaccine Sputnik in India, it is currently importing this vaccine directly from Russia and within two months it will also be manufactured in India. Currently, this vaccine is available to Dr. Reddy’s is selling the vaccine to private hospitals for Rs 745 + 5 % GST i.e. Rs. 784 per dose. The hospitals are further selling it to consumers by levying their own fee of Rs 150 to 250. As such a dose of Sputnik vaccine reaching the consumer is priced from Rs. 1050 to Rs. 1100. States like Punjab are showing interest in the purchase of Sputnik but it may be that instead of Dr. Reddy’s the original Russian company may evince interest in the tender and the prices will be known that time only. But this is certain that the states are going to lose a lot due to the purchase of vaccines. There is a population of 60 crores in the country between 18-44 years now, that is, for their complete vaccination, 1 lakh 20 thousand crore doses are required. If the states purchase Rs 1000 per dose, then they should have Rs 120 thousand crores in their bag. If the price increases, then you can guess the total price yourself. Now as the Delhi government has made a provision of only Rs 50 crore for the purchase of vaccine, but at this average rate, they will need at least Rs 1,000 crore for the vaccine since almost every state government has already announced that they will apply free vaccine to the citizens of their state. The total budget of Delhi’s health is Rs 9,934 crore, that is, the government will have to extract Rs 1,000 crores of vaccine from here as well.

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