COVID-19 vaccination: Private hospitals can't charge more than Rs. 250/shot
Private hospitals and healthcare facilities participating in the second phase of the country's COVID-19 vaccination drive will be allowed to charge up to Rs. 250 per shot from the beneficiaries, said the Health Ministry on Saturday. The second phase will commence from March 1 under which people aged above 60 years and those over 45 years with comorbidities will be inoculated against COVID-19. Here's more.
Price will be inclusive of the Rs. 100 service charge
To note, the price of the COVID-19 vaccine at private hospitals, capped at Rs. 250/dose, will be inclusive of the Rs. 100 service charge toward vaccine administration. Earlier, the Centre said private facilities would be allowed to collect up to Rs. 100 apart from the cost of the vaccine to meet the operational expenses that they will incur during the COVID-19 vaccination drive.
Vaccines to be given for free at government hospitals
The Centre on Friday revealed that under the second phase of the vaccination drive, beneficiaries would be able to choose their coronavirus vaccination center. Reportedly, more than 10,000 private hospitals have been cleared by the government to give out the vaccines. The Centre had also clarified that vaccines would be given at no cost to beneficiaries at the government-run hospitals and health centers.
Service charge to include cost of syringes, needles, manpower
"They (private facilities) will have a band of Rs. 100 to incur the operational cost of the vaccines which includes syringes, needles, manpower, etc.," IANS reported earlier. "They will charge Rs. 100 as administration cost...bifurcated equally — one part is the fees of a nurse and the other Rs. 50 is for miscellaneous hospital expenditure," a top Health Ministry official earlier told ThePrint.
Total ceiling amount recoverable by private hospitals is Rs. 250/dose
"It was intimated that the service charge....would be subject to a ceiling of Rs. 100 per person per dose," Maharashtra Health Secretary Dr. Pradeep Vyas told The Indian Express. "In addition, private hospitals will recover Rs. 150 per person per dose as cost of the vaccine. Hence, the total ceiling amount recoverable by private hospitals is Rs. 250 per person per dose," he added.
Only Covishield to be available in beginning of second phase
Meanwhile, only Covishield—the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII)—will be initially made available in the second phase of the vaccination drive, reported The New Indian Express, citing officials. "This is largely because Covishield is available in larger quantities, we don't want a situation where private hospitals refuse Covaxin citing the lack of efficacy data from Phase-3 trial," said a source.