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Home >News >India >Hospitals await payouts for unused jabs

Hospitals await payouts for unused jabs

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In July, the Centre had asked covid-19 vaccine makers not to reserve 25% doses for private hospitals. pti

Several states have not paid for unused covid-19 vaccines collected from private hospitals

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NEW DELHI : Several states have collected unused covid-19 vaccines from private hospitals amid poor uptake of paid shots, but no payments have been made so far for the vaccines despite repeated follow-ups by the private hospitals.

NEW DELHI : Several states have collected unused covid-19 vaccines from private hospitals amid poor uptake of paid shots, but no payments have been made so far for the vaccines despite repeated follow-ups by the private hospitals.

“We procured covid-19 vaccines directly from the manufacturers until 30 April. We didn’t receive ample beneficiaries at our vaccination centre, so we decided to divert the purchased vaccines to the state government. The state government collected the vaccines in May but has not paid for them. I have been following up with the state government, but officials said that they don’t have any clarity over refund and we should reach out to the central government," said Rohit Upadhayay, hospital superintendent, Marwari Hospitals, Guwahati.

“We procured covid-19 vaccines directly from the manufacturers until 30 April. We didn’t receive ample beneficiaries at our vaccination centre, so we decided to divert the purchased vaccines to the state government. The state government collected the vaccines in May but has not paid for them. I have been following up with the state government, but officials said that they don’t have any clarity over refund and we should reach out to the central government," said Rohit Upadhayay, hospital superintendent, Marwari Hospitals, Guwahati.

In June, the government changed its vaccine procurement policy, making it more centralized by buying 75% of the total production of covid-19 vaccines and leaving 25% for the private sector to be procured directly from the manufacturers.

In June, the government changed its vaccine procurement policy, making it more centralized by buying 75% of the total production of covid-19 vaccines and leaving 25% for the private sector to be procured directly from the manufacturers.

Noting the slow pace of paid vaccinations at the private centres, the Union government asked states to review vaccine procurement. In July, the Centre also asked covid-19 vaccine makers not to reserve 25% doses for private hospitals.

Noting the slow pace of paid vaccinations at the private centres, the Union government asked states to review vaccine procurement. In July, the Centre also asked covid-19 vaccine makers not to reserve 25% doses for private hospitals.

“Several private hospitals in Delhi have been reaching out to the state government to take back the unused vaccines before they expire. If the central government allows, the state government will procure the vaccines from/private hospitals, which can be bought at the new price. But the major issue is refunds," said a senior official in one of the major private hospitals in Delhi.

“Several private hospitals in Delhi have been reaching out to the state government to take back the unused vaccines before they expire. If the central government allows, the state government will procure the vaccines from/private hospitals, which can be bought at the new price. But the major issue is refunds," said a senior official in one of the major private hospitals in Delhi.

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya in Parliament said in an oral reply that government covid vaccination centres will now use the unutilized doses by the private sector. However, Union health ministry officials said no decision has been taken on the payment part. “We are discussing that matter with the states and may come up with a solution for the same," said a senior health ministry official.

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya in Parliament said in an oral reply that government covid vaccination centres will now use the unutilized doses by the private sector. However, Union health ministry officials said no decision has been taken on the payment part. “We are discussing that matter with the states and may come up with a solution for the same," said a senior health ministry official.

“The state government had taken vaccines back from us after there was a change of rule and misunderstanding between the state and central government regarding the vaccines and our payment close to 4 lakh, which we paid for the vaccine upfront, is still pending," said Dr Shubhang Aggarwal, director, NHS Hospital, Jalandhar.

“The state government had taken vaccines back from us after there was a change of rule and misunderstanding between the state and central government regarding the vaccines and our payment close to 4 lakh, which we paid for the vaccine upfront, is still pending," said Dr Shubhang Aggarwal, director, NHS Hospital, Jalandhar.

The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on 16 January, with vaccination of healthcare workers (HCWs) and vaccination of the frontline workers (FLWs) started from 2 February. The second phase of covid-19 vaccination started on 1 March for those over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. The third phase was rolled out from 1 April, covering all persons above 45 years of age irrespective of comorbidities. The government later in June announced to provide free covid-19 vaccines to all adults from 21 June. Until the free vaccination was announced, the private sector vaccinations were happening at a fast pace.

The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on 16 January, with vaccination of healthcare workers (HCWs) and vaccination of the frontline workers (FLWs) started from 2 February. The second phase of covid-19 vaccination started on 1 March for those over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. The third phase was rolled out from 1 April, covering all persons above 45 years of age irrespective of comorbidities. The government later in June announced to provide free covid-19 vaccines to all adults from 21 June. Until the free vaccination was announced, the private sector vaccinations were happening at a fast pace.

“There is no earmarked quota for the private sector. There is an indicative percentage of what government would procure and what would be available for private sector to procure. This in effect means that if the private sector is unable to either procure or utilize the earmarked percentage, the shortfall would also be procured by the government. At the end of the day, whatever is produced in the country must be utilized," said Rajesh Bhushan, Union health secretary.

“There is no earmarked quota for the private sector. There is an indicative percentage of what government would procure and what would be available for private sector to procure. This in effect means that if the private sector is unable to either procure or utilize the earmarked percentage, the shortfall would also be procured by the government. At the end of the day, whatever is produced in the country must be utilized," said Rajesh Bhushan, Union health secretary.

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