Families desperate to find vaccine slots for house-helps

People wait to register their names at a free mega vaccination drive for the less privileged organised by the police department in Hyderabad on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

The race to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has moved to a more desperate phase as families hunt for slots to get house-helps, attenders, and drivers vaccinated. With limited slots available in the 18-45 age group at camps organised by the government, large drives by private hospitals have emerged as a more viable option.

“In urban health centres, no slots are available and most of them are conducting vaccination for the 45+ age group. I helped book a slot for my neighbour’s house-help. Her employer paid ₹1,000 for it. We had to find a nearby centre,” says Sanjay Chowdhury, who lives in Anand Bagh Colony. If the vaccination camp organised by one hospital was at an international school in Gandipet, another hospital organised a camp with similar pricing at a function hall in Secunderabad.

Higher rates

However, the ₹1,000 per person for a Covishield shot is much higher than the permissible ₹780 that can be charged, including the maximum service charge. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had capped the rates of the vaccines on June 8 for vaccination at private centres. The highest priced vaccine was ₹1,410 for Covaxin, ₹1,145 for Sputnik-V and ₹780 for Covishield.

To dodge the price control, hospitals are organising camps outside their premises where the recipients are ending up paying more than the fixed price.

These camps don’t pop up on the CoWin app and the data is being fed after the vaccination is done as the app has an automatic price resetting mechanism in place.

According to a notification by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, “The CoWin system will also reset the prices declared by private CVCs to the maximum value indicated for respective vaccines wherever the price declared by a CVC exceeds the maximum value”.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 6:05:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/families-desperate-to-find-vaccine-slots-for-house-helps/article34825388.ece

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