Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday requested the Centre to procure COVID-19 vaccines, originally allotted to private establishments and not lifted, and supply them for vaccination drive through government channels.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister pointed out that “past experience and demand for vaccines at private hospitals” clearly indicated that private establishments could not utilize such huge quantities.
“Under the liberalized pricing and accelerated national COVID-19 vaccination strategy, 25 per cent of vaccines produced were permitted to be procured by private hospitals and industrial establishments (through their hospitals).”
“This 25 per cent allocation has been continued in the revised guidelines for implementation of national Covid vaccination programme from June 21,” the Chief Minister pointed out.
Citing the situation in Andhra Pradesh, Mr Reddy said so far only 2,67,075 persons have been vaccinated at private hospitals in the state.
“It may also be noted that 17,71,580 doses have been earmarked for private hospitals (in Andhra Pradesh) for July. The past experience and demand clearly indicate that such huge quantities cannot be utilized by private hospitals,” he added.
Other states too expressed similar sentiments, during a video-conference conducted by the Union Cabinet Secretary on June 24, the Chief Minister said.
“I recommend that vaccine stocks not lifted by private hospitals be procured and supplied for implementation of vaccination drive through government channels. Such an approach would go a long way in speeding up the vaccination drive and enabling effective utilization of available resources to achieve total coverage at the earliest,” the Chief Minister stressed.
Mr Reddy requested the Prime Minister to take an early decision in this regard.
On May 22, he had written a letter to PM Modi asking the Centre to stop supply of coronavirus vaccines to private hospitals in view of the limited availability of stocks and also since the private hospitals were collecting exorbitant amounts from people.
Mr Reddy had pointed out that the private hospitals were charging as high as ₹ 2,000/25,000 for each vaccine dose due to the flexibility offered to them to fix the price.
He observed that it was not only a disadvantage to the poorer sections of the society who could not afford such high cost, but it also created a situation of blackmarketing of the vaccine, which administratively would be a Herculean task to control.
News Source: NDTV News