#OneNationOnePrice: Standardise COVID Vaccine Price So That Every Indian Can Afford It

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I was really happy with the government’s decision to open up the vaccination drive to 18 to 45-year-olds, the most economically active section of our population. But its announcement of giving vaccine manufacturers a free hand at setting the price of these vaccines is extremely worrying.

As a common citizen and a consumer rights professional, I believe this move is unfair to the average citizen. If the government doesn’t fix the price of the vaccines or set a limit, a majority of Indians who don’t come in the 30 crore population (which is getting the vaccine from the government for free), will have to pay a substantially higher price for the same vaccine. This will exclude crores of people from voluntarily coming forward to get vaccinated.

Sign my petition asking the government to have a one-nation-one-price policy. 

If we don’t demand a change, there will be havoc. As we know, the media has been reporting that a lot of states are complaining of a vaccine shortage. As the demand is high, this will give manufacturers the upper hand. Individual state governments’ will face a huge financial burden to procure the vaccines and experts warn this will end up getting passed on to us, the common citizens. If the Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate with whom it targets, then why is the government allowing for differential pricing?

Following the government’s announcement, Serum Insitute of India, which produces the Covishield vaccine, just declared and revised its prices:

  • Rs 400 per dose for the centre and state governments for fresh orders
  • Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.

In a pandemic, people’s health should be a priority and not profit! I urge the government to reconsider, as only it can rectify and remedy the situation immediately as we now have the second highest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the world and the fourth highest number of deaths. As of 21st April 2021, there are approximately 200,000 new cases per day and at least 1,000 people have died each day due to the disease. 

Sign my petition asking the Government of India to set a universal price for the COVID vaccine in India so that every Indian can afford it. 

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(Image Credit: Parikh Mahindra N via Shutterstock)