Centre calls the shots in Covid-19 jabs even for states & private hospitals | India News – Times of India

MUMBAI: Despite claims of a “liberalised” policy, the Center is monitoring and allocating COVID-19 numbers that state and private hospitals can procure directly from vaccine manufacturers.
Sources told TOI that the Center gives priority to the quantity as well as the states, before the delivery is started by the manufacturers. Similarly, in terms of orders from private hospitals, vaccine manufacturers verify specifications only after the approval of the central government.
Before opening up vaccinations to everyone above the age of 18, the Center announced a decentralized scheme in April under which manufacturers were directed to reserve 50% of their monthly output for central government procurement. While the remaining 50% – split equally between states and private hospitals – had to be bought by them directly from vaccine companies.
A questionnaire sent to the Union Health Ministry remained unanswered.
For example in May – the first month of policy liberalisation, the total share of 1.5 crore doses of state and private hospitals were supplied by Serum Institute alone, starting from mid-May till now. The source said that over 250 hospitals have been exempted from the quota reserved for the private sector.
Out of this the large private hospital chains occupied a lion’s share due to their financial strength as the order involves upfront payment. The younger ones were probably left out because of initial confusion and miscalculations about vaccine prices, and also because they could not cough up the large quantities they already had.
Private hospitals pay Rs 600 per dose for Covishield and Rs 1200 per jab for Covaxin, compared to around Rs 150 per dose charged by SII and Bharat Biotech Centre.
In addition, the state or private hospital that places the order is informed about the specific quantity to be received, frequency of delivery or timeline (if staggered over a period) after it is approved by the Centre.
This was confirmed by a private hospital, which had placed a substantial order of a few lakh doses last month. “We were told that the quantity is subject to approval from the Centre”, he told TOI.
Since May, many states have been forced to stop vaccination, facing supply shortages, with a nearly 35% drop in pace in April to May alone. Currently, most vaccinations are being done using Serum Institute’s Covashield, with Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin being the second approved vaccine. Recently Russia’s Sputnik V has started being rolled out in small quantities.
“Overall vaccine distribution is being monitored by the Centre. In the state-reserved quota last month, the central government gave equal importance to the worst-affected states, where the virus case-load was high, and a fairly equal distribution among the four region (North, South, East and West)”, the sources said.
Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted a letter in May in response to Bharat Biotech’s demand for additional vaccines, where the company was quoted as saying that it is “dispatching as per the instructions of the concerned government authorities”. was”.


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