Most private hospitals run out of vaccine

PHANA writes to CS seeking govt. help in procuring vaccines

May 06, 2021 08:56 pm | Updated May 07, 2021 07:19 am IST - Bengaluru

Photo for representation.

Photo for representation.

With most private vaccination centres running out of stocks after the State supply of vaccine stopped from May 1, people waiting to get their second dose are finding it hard to get vaccinated.

Except for some corporate chains of hospitals in Bengaluru — like Manipal Hospitals and Apollo Hospitals — who have managed to procure some stocks individually through vendors, most other private vaccination centres do not have stocks of both Covishield and Covaxin.

A spokesperson for Manipal Hospitals said they had only Covaxin available as on Thursday.

The Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA) on Thursday wrote to the Chief Secretary seeking his intervention in vaccine procurement. “From May 1, we do not have vaccines at most private hospitals across Bengaluru (except for two corporate chains who are not disclosing their source of vaccine). Help us get the vaccines at the earliest, at least for the second dose individuals till the stocks are more freely available,” stated the letter.

Appealing to the Chief Secretary to issue orders to prioritise the second dose and withhold 18-plus group’s first dose for the time being, PHANA members have also requested that supplies to all private institutions should be restarted at the rates that were offered in April.

“This will help us to complete the second dose. Many patients, especially the 60-plus and vulnerable groups, are repeatedly calling our hospitals. All the vaccination centre hospitals are getting flooded with angry callers,” the letter stated.

BBMP’s Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta, meanwhile, admitted to a shortage in the vaccine stock. He said the BBMP received around 60,000 vaccines from the State government on Wednesday and 20,000 on Thursday. “Whatever stock we are getting is being equally distributed to all wards. We have also told the PHC staff to take up vaccinations only for those above 45 years,” he said and admitted that there was demand for the vaccine. “We need to augment the supply, but we are managing with the existing supply,” he said.

Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said the government is in constant touch with the Centre. “Currently, we have a stock of about 5 lakh doses. So far, we have administered more than 1 crore doses of vaccine in the State. The government has also placed orders for 3 crore doses of vaccine and we are expecting to receive one more consignment by May 15,” he said.

Service charge

Meanwhile, the Health Department has issued a circular directing private hospitals to collect a service fee of not more than ₹100 apart from the vaccine cost fixed by the Centre.

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