Private hospitals used only 17% COVID-19 vaccine doses in May
Even as India continues to report a serious shortage of coronavirus vaccines, government data shows that only 17 percent of the available doses were administered by private hospitals last month, reported NDTV. Private hospitals procured 1.29 crore vaccine doses for May. However, only 22 lakh of these doses were used, according to the data cited by the publication. Here are more details on this.
7.4 crore total doses were made available in May
As per the data released by the Union Health Ministry on June 4, 7.4 crore total doses were made available across the country last month. Of that, 1.85 crore doses were earmarked for private hospitals, according to the government policy. Experts cited by NDTV say high prices at private hospitals may be a main reason that a majority of their vaccine stocks remained unused.
Ironically, government said reports of under-use were 'inaccurate'
Interestingly, these numbers were provided by the central government in a press release where it rubbished media reports that only 7.5% of the available doses were being used. "Few media reports have mentioned that 25 percent doses allocated to private hospitals, but they account for only 7.5 percent of total jabs. These reports are not accurate and do not match with the available data."
Similarly, private hospitals in Mumbai also underused stocks
Similarly, a report by The Indian Express said private hospitals in Mumbai had procured 22.37 lakh doses in May, however, even half of them could not be administered through the month. In fact, over 13 lakh doses were still in stock as on June 3.
Government revised vaccine policy, fixed maximum prices
Recently, the Centre revised its controversial vaccination policy, taking back control from state governments. The government said it would now procure 75% of the total vaccines while private hospitals would continue to procure the remaining. Maximum prices that can be charged by private facilities have also been fixed. They are as follows: Covishield: Rs. 780 per dose. Sputnik V: Rs. 1,145. COVAXIN: Rs. 1,410.
How is vaccination drive going in India?
India began a nationwide COVID-19 inoculation program this January. Nearly 25 crore doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered across India, but only 3.4% of the total population is fully vaccinated as yet. The government says it is taking several measures to scale up supply and aims to vaccinate all Indian adults by the end of this year.
India's coronavirus situation
After facing the world's worst coronavirus outbreak, India's COVID-19 situation is finally improving. In the past 24 hours, the country reported 84,332 fresh coronavirus cases - the lowest daily surge in 70 days. It also saw 4,002 more fatalities. However, Maharashtra accounted for 2,619 of them as over 2,000 deaths were added after a scrutiny of laboratory reports.