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New vaccine policy for Pvt centres evokes mixed response from Delhi hospitals

On Tuesday, the centre announced that the private hospitals can no longer buy vaccine doses directly from manufacturers and must place Covid vaccine orders via CoWIN.

Ashish Srivastava | New Delhi |

The Centre’s latest order over procurement of vaccines in private vaccination centres has elicited mixed responses from the private hospitals as many of them welcomed the decision.

“We are in total agreement with govt and it is a very wise decision. There will be no more forcing…now we can procure vaccines as per requirement. So far we were getting more than required,” Dr Satendra Katoch, Medical Director, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital told The Statesman.

On Tuesday, the centre announced that the private hospitals can no longer buy vaccine doses directly from manufacturers and must place Covid vaccine orders via CoWIN. The government also imposed a cap, or a “maximum limit”, on the number of doses a private hospital can order for a given month, in order to balance limited supply and prevent wastage.

“We consider this as a positive policy decision taken by the government as this will lead to increase in the vaccination rate as the government will have a clear cut record of how many vaccines have been procured by an individual hospital. This will also prevent hoarding of vaccines and ultimately lead to improving transparency in terms of inoculation,” added Dr Prashant Kulshrestha, Deputy Medical Superintendent, PSRI Hospital.

“States and UTs will be informed by MoHFW, about the total quantum of doses available for private CVCs in a month for them. They will aggregate the demand from private CVCs, keeping these quantities in mind,” a statement from the Union health ministry said.

There will be no need for approval from the government. Successful submission of the procurement orders on the government portal will be sufficient.

Tirath Ram Shah Charitable Hospital said that the government must formulate a simple policy rather than complicating the approach. Dr Shilpa Pandita, Deputy Medical Superintendent of the hospital said that the focus should be on quick implementation rather than shifting the policy now and then.

“There is a need to do an aggressive implementation of the policy government tends to formulate. The small private hospitals are suffering from a dearth of a working mechanism. The government should understand that private and government hospitals are working together for the nationwide Covid immunisation programme,” she added.

“A policy should not differentiate between the two. A simple process backed by quick implementation will go a long way to avert the damage by mass vaccination that the third may bring,” Pandita said further.

Meanwhile, for the third day in a row, Delhi had administered more than 2 lakh doses in a day, said the state government in a statement. On June 29, 1.5 lakh doses were administered out of the 2,03,035 total doses administered. More than 37,000 people had their second jab administered on Tuesday.

“Delhi has received another instalment of 4 lakh Covishield doses. Vaccine stock at 7.64 lakh and will last 3 days at the current vaccination speed of 2 lakh people per day,” it said.