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Center makes the decisions in Covid-19 hits even for state and private hospitals | India News


MUMBAI: Despite claims of a “liberalized” policy, the Center is monitoring and allocating the number of Covid-19 injections that states and private hospitals can obtain directly from vaccine manufacturers.
The Center dictates the quantity and priority to be given to states, before manufacturers start deliveries, sources told TOI. Similarly, in terms of private hospital orders, the vaccine manufacturers confirm the details only after approval from the central government.
Before opening vaccination for everyone over 18 years of age, the Center announced in April a decentralized plan under which manufacturers were ordered to reserve 50% of their monthly production for central government purchases. While the remaining 50% – divided equally between the states and private hospitals – had to be purchased by them directly from vaccine companies.
A questionnaire sent to the Union Ministry of Health remained unanswered.
For example, in May, the first month since the policy was liberalized, the Serum Institute supplied the share of state and private hospitals for a total of 1.5 million doses each, from mid-May until now. More than 250 hospitals have been hit by the quota reserved for the private sector, the source added.
Of this, the large private hospital chains monopolized the majority due to their financial might, since the order involves payment in advance. The youngest were possibly left out due to initial confusion and miscalculation regarding vaccine prices, and also because they were unable to fork out the huge amount up front.
Compared to around Rs 150 per dose that IBS and Bharat Biotech charge the Center, private hospitals pay Rs 600 per dose for Covishield and Rs 1200 per jab for Covaxin.
In addition, the state or private hospital that places the order is informed about the specific quantities they can receive, the frequency of delivery or the schedule (if staggered over a period), once the Center approves it.
This was confirmed by a private hospital that placed a substantial order for a few lakh doses last month. “They told us that the amount is subject to the approval of the Center,” he told TOI.
Since May, several states have been forced to suspend vaccination, amid a supply shortage, and the rate dropped by around 35% in May from April alone. Currently, most vaccines are administered using the Serum Institute’s Covishield, with Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin being the second approved vaccine. Recently, Russia’s Sputnik V began to be deployed in small numbers.
“Vaccine deliveries in general are being monitored by the Center. In the quota reserved by the state last month, the central government gave equal weight to the worst affected states where the burden of virus cases was high, and attempted a fairly equitable distribution among the four regions (north, south, east and west), “added the sources.
Earlier, Delhi Prime Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted a letter from Bharat Biotech in May in response to their demand for additional vaccines where the company is quoted as saying it was “shipping on the instructions of the government officials involved.”

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