Coronavirus | Andhra CM asks PM Modi to temporarily suspend supply of vaccines to private hospitals

It will be a good idea to supply vaccines to the private sector only when there is surplus quantity, he says

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to suspend the supply of vaccines to private hospitals directly from the manufacturers until there is a surplus quantity.

In a letter written to Mr. Modi on Saturday, Mr. Jagan said, "In a situation where there is not enough supply to cater to even the 45+ age group completely and with no possibility of taking up the free vaccination for the 18-44 years for the next few months, it appears very unreasonable to allow some private sector hospital to vaccinate people of all age groups at exorbitant rates."

Not only it is a disadvantage to the poorer sections of the society but it also creates a situation of black marketing of the vaccine, which administratively is a herculean task to control, he said apprising the PM that the State had to limit vaccination for 45+ age due to insufficient supply.

"Due to the flexibility available to the private hospitals to fix the price of their vaccines they are charging as high as ₹2,000-₹25,000 for each dose making them one of the costliest in the world and inviting criticism from the general public," Mr. Jagan said.

Further Mr. Jagan said that the availability of vaccines at both public and private hospitals would be a good idea only if there is surplus availability of the vaccines wherein anyone can choose any mode as per his or her choice and financial capability.

"In today’s situation where supply is very limited, providing this option to private hospitals wherein they charge an exorbitant price is socially unacceptable and administratively difficult to monitor," Mr. Jagan wrote.

"I request you to kindly look into the matter and dispense with the supply of vaccines to private hospitals so that entire stock is available only to Central and State governments to take up vaccination of all eligible people," he said.

The State government, with the permission of the Centre, had deferred vaccinating people of 18-44 age group as it intended to use meagrely available doses to vaccinate persons of 45+ age group due for the second dose in the State.

Private hospitals are allowed to buy vaccines directly from manufacturer from the 50% supply earmarked for the ‘Other than Govt. of India’ channel.

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