Sanal M Sudevan
Keen to explore new things and learn something new every day in the field of jounalism.
In what could be considered as an inequitable distribution of COVID vaccines, as many as nine private hospitals accumulated 50 per cent of stock that was meant for the private sector in the month of May, reported The Indian Express.
After the Central government relaxed the vaccine policy, these nine corporate private hospitals cumulatively purchased 60.57 lakh doses out of the total 1.20 crore doses of vaccines procured by the private hospitals, and the rest vaccines were bought by the 300-odd hospitals from the other regions, mostly in Tier 1 and 2 cities of the country.
According to the new policy, the Centre had given permission to state government and private players to acquire 50 per cent vaccine doses of the total output from the market on May 1. On the other hand, the Centre had confined itself to procuring another 50 per cent of vaccine output for distributing the jab to vaccinate people above the 45+ age group.
According to the report, the nine hospitals include Apollo Hospitals which procured 16.14 lakh of doses, Max Healthcare (12.17 lakh), HN Reliance (9.89 lakh), Medica Hospitals (6.26 lakh), Fortis Hospitals (4.48 lakh), Godrej Memorial (3.35 lakh), Manipal Health (3.24 lakh), Techno India (2.26 lakh), and Narayana Hrudayalaya (2.02 lakh).
Out of the 7.94 crore production of vaccine doses, the private hospital procured 1.20 crore of doses, which stood at 15.6 per cent of the total production. They were able to administer only 22 lakh doses or 18 per cent of the doses received during the month.
Meanwhile, the states procured 2.66 lakh crore doses or 18 per cent of the production during the month, the Centre bought 50.3 per cent of doses or 4.03 crore in May.
Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, the two major vaccine producers in India, sold the vaccines to private hospitals at ₹600 per dose and ₹1,200 per doses, respectively. The hospitals are charging consumers in the range of ₹850-1000 for Covishield and ₹1,250 for Covaxin.
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