Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine likely to cost less than Rs 730 per dose in India: Report
New Delhi: Pfizer is likely to provide its mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine in India for less than USD 10 (about Rs 730) per dose, which would be the lowest price for an mRNA-based vaccination anywhere in the world.
As per various media accounts, the price per dosage is in the single digits, and it is a non-profit charge for the government's vaccination programme. Based on the current study, if the vaccine costs less than USD 10 in the country, it will cost roughly half as much in developed markets like the US, the UK, and the European Union.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which is based on BioNTech proprietary mRNA technology, was developed by both BioNTech and Pfizer.
It is an mRNA vaccine where mRNA is delivered to the body's cells by lipid nanoparticles, instructing the cells to generate the spike protein found on the surface of the novel coronavirus that initiates infection. Instructing cells to generate the spike protein spurs an immune response, including the generation of antibodies specific to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. mRNA vaccines do not contain any virus particles, meaning that they don't contain weakened or dead parts of a virus or bacterium.
Earlier, the Medical Dialogues team had reported that in order to bring the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use in India, discussions are underway between the Government of India (GOI) and Pfizer Inc. Further, it was reported that in a statement, a Pfizer spokesperson said, "Pfizer's discussions with the GOI are ongoing and we are hopeful of bringing the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use in the country. We are unable to divulge further details at this moment. "
As per Reuters, the government has already met one of Pfizer's other key demands by dropping a requirement that foreign vaccines undergo local trials.
A Pfizer spokeswoman said in an email to Reuters, "We seek the same kind of indemnity and liability protection in all of the countries that have asked to purchase our vaccine, consistent with the local applicable laws to create the appropriate risk protection for all involved,"
Meanwhile, the Business Standard reports that sources said the US pharmaceutical major Pfizer may price its mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine, co-developed by BioNTech, below USD 10 (about Rs 730) a dose in India.
As per the MoneyControl report, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine costs $19.5 (Rs 1,423) per dose in the United States and roughly $21 in the United Kingdom (Rs 1,532). The price in the EU was originally around $18.9 per dosage, but discussions about a higher price of $23.2 (Rs 1,693) per dosage are currently underway.
Pfizer said in a statement that it has volunteered to make the requisite doses of its COVID-19 vaccine accessible at a not-for-profit price for India, as well as all poor and lower-middle-income nations if they receive regulatory approval. It went on to say that they couldn't comment about their discussions with the Indian government since they were "confidential."
In light of the foregoing, it's worth noting that the Union Health Ministry in India had capped the prices of three Covid-19 vaccines on the market, with Covishield costing Rs 780 per dose, Russian vaccine Sputnik V costing Rs 1,145 per dose, and indigenously made Covaxin costing Rs 1,410 per dose in private hospitals.