Kerala

State to buy vaccines directly: CM

The State has initiated discussions with vaccine manufacturers to procure adequate vaccine supplies as there has been no response from the Centre regarding the request for additional stocks, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said.

Addressing the media here on Thursday, Mr. Vijayan said that even while awaiting a reply from the Centre, the State was not in a position to wait interminably for vaccines to arrive.

The Chief Secretary, the Finance Secretary and the Health Secretary will lead the discussions with vaccine manufacturers on all crucial aspects, including the pricing and quantum of vaccines required, he said.

However, private sector would have to make their own vaccine purchase as the State cannot buy for them, he said.

He said the government was taking measures to streamline the vaccine distribution and depending on availability, vaccine sessions would be organised by the Health and district authorities. Only those with prior online registration will be administered the vaccine.

The government has engaged an expert committee to draw up clear guidelines to administer vaccines to the 1.65 crore population of those in the 18-45 year age group when registrations are to be opened from May 1.

Mr. Vijayan said a task force has been set up under the Additional Chief Secretary to monitor and evaluate hospital facilities for COVID-19 care.

Private sector hospitals will have to fix their treatment costs on a just and rational manner, and the district authorities will be asked to intervene in keeping treatment costs at a fair level, the Chief Minister said.

He said there were complaints about the differential and indiscriminate rates being charged by various private hospitals, ranging from ₹2,300 to ₹20,000. He said that rationalising treatment costs would be taken up with the representatives of private hospitals at a meeting on Saturday.

Mr. Vijayan asked hospitals to take care that non-COVID care was not jeopardised. Non-COVID patients had just begun to come back to hospitals and elective surgeries were about to resume when the second wave broke out.

The Health authorities should discuss with District Collectors and evolve practical suggestions on how a balance could be struck between COVID-19 and non-COVID care, he added.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 11:34:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/state-to-buy-vaccines-directly-cm/article34387207.ece

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