Hospitals may reduce vaccine orders amid poor uptake of paid shots

max healthcare, covaxin, ganga ram hospital, national capital region, sputnik v

With improved vaccine supply in government centres which is making it easy for people to get free shots, the private sector has cut down on vaccine orders amid poor demand for paid jabs, leading hospitals told ET.

Most private hospitals will exhaust their supplies by the end of this month and have decided to procure vaccines in small quantities from now on. “We are seeing the end of vaccination in the private sector,” said a senior official working with leading private hospitals. The government had liberalised the policy on Covid-19 vaccines, making all vaccines – Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V, which are available in India – free for everyone above the age of 18 years from June 21.

While it was decided that 25% of the vaccines made in India will be given to private hospitals for those who want to pay for the jab, private hospitals said fewer people were approaching them ever since the government liberalised the vaccination policy.

“During the peak period, our hospital had consumption of 50 vials per day. Each vial has 10 doses. Today, it has decreased to 10 vials a day. We only place orders when stock is less than 200 vials in store,” said DS Rana, chairman of the board of management and trustee at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi.

Chains like Max Healthcare and Fortis Healthcare had ordered stocks in large quantities before the change in the policy.

Private participation has become miniscule since June, they said. Max Healthcare has seen a drop in the number of vaccinations since the change in policy. In July, its centres in Delhi and the National Capital Region together recorded 4,856 vaccinations per day. This dropped to 3,336 in August, and so far in September, they have administered 2,212 shots.

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