COVID-19: Private sector to have bigger role in vaccination soonLast updated on Feb 22, 2021, 03:55 pm
The private sector is all set to have a larger participation in India's ongoing coronavirus vaccination drive.
In fact, details about that will be made available in "a matter of few days," NITI Aayog member - Dr. VK Paul, who heads the central government's pandemic response team, told NDTV.
More than one crore vaccine doses have been administered across India thus far.
'Private sector engagement to become deeper and wider'
"Presently also, the private sector has been prominently involved in vaccinating healthcare and frontline workers. Out of 10,000 vaccination sessions on any given day, 2,000 are being conducted by private sector partners," Dr. Paul said.
"And as we move to a much speedier program, the private sector engagement will become deeper and wider. In a matter of a few days, just wait a little."
CII, business leaders, doctors advise greater private sector role
Recently, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) had asked the Centre to allow wider participation of the private sector in the vaccination program.
Earlier, industry leaders including the Mahindra Group chairperson Anand Mahindra, as well as top doctors like Devi Prasad Shetty, the founder of Narayana Health, had also advised proactive participation of the private sector in the country's COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
CII chief wrote a letter to PM last month
"Hospitals (should) be allowed to vaccinate critical patients and paying clients, eventually, for ensuring that the vaccine reaches all in the shortest possible time period, while not diverting resources from the government's strategy of beneficiaries," CII chief Uday Kotak had written in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month.
Presently, only healthcare professionals and frontline medical workers are being vaccinated.
Happy that Sputnik V applied for emergency use: Dr. Paul
Meanwhile, Dr. Paul also said he is "very happy" that the Russian-made vaccine Sputnik V has applied for emergency use in India.
"We undertake this process very expeditiously because we want as many vaccine options as possible," he said.
For now, two vaccines - Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech-developed COVAXIN - are being administered to medical staffers.
COVID-19 cases rising in several states
India on Sunday reported more than 14,000 fresh coronavirus cases and 80 more deaths due to the virus.
The country's total case count now stands at over 1.10 crore.
Worryingly, COVID-19 cases have been rising in some states such as Maharashtra and Punjab in recent days.
Further, at least 240 new strains of the coronavirus have reportedly surfaced across India.