Centre Caps Price of COVID Vaccines at Private Hospitals at Rs 250
Meanwhile, people will be able to receive the vaccine free of cost at government hospitals across the country.
The Union Government on Saturday, 27 February, announced that it has fixed the price of COVID-19 vaccines at Rs 250 for a dose at private hospitals for people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities, who will be vaccinated in the second phase starting 1 March.
Meanwhile, the government said that people will be vaccinated free of cost at the government hospitals.
“Vaccination at private facilities will be charged subject to a financial ceiling whereas vaccination at government facilities is totally free, the cost being borne by the central government,” Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Health Ministry said on Saturday, according to ANI.
However, the prices are subjected to change until further notice.
The cost break-up is Rs 150 for a dose plus Rs 100 as a service charge which the private facilities can charge from those receiving the vaccines.
The decision was taken by National Health Mission and is being forwarded to all the states and Union territories.
Ahead of the government releasing the pricing details, Dr Srinath Reddy, Chairman of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) told The Quint, “In a mixed health system, taking the support of the private sector is understandable. However, it is debatable whether that should require the citizen to pay for that channel. As pandemic control is universally acknowledged to be a public good, immunisation should be paid from public financing.”
Dr Shahid Jameel, Virologist and Director, Trivedi School of Biosciences, Ashoka University told The Quint that private players have the resources to increase the vaccination rates in the above 50 years of age population and that the vaccine cost is reasonable.
“The government should ensure that everyone who needs the vaccine is able to access it,”Dr Shahid Jameel, Virologist and Director, Trivedi School of Biosciences, Ashoka University
Phase 2 of COVID Vaccination
The second phase of vaccination against COVID-19 is being rolled out from 1 March, and aims at covering 27 crore people. Phase 1 involved healthcare and frontline workers, and so far, more than 1.5 core vaccinations have been done.
The government, in order to increase ramp up the COVID vaccination capacity, is now involving a number of private facilities.
Around 10,000 private hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat PMJAY, more than 600 hospitals empanelled under CGHS and other private hospitals empanelled under state governments health insurance schemes can participate as COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs), the Centre said.
Health Departments of state governments have already initiated dialogue with these private hospitals so they can participate in this phase of the drive.
All the private health facilities which will serve as government CVCs will be required to follow strict norms of due process, quality and safety including integration with the National Co-Win technology platform.
“All private health facilities must also have adequate space, adequate cold chain arrangements, adequate number of vaccinators and support staff and adequate arrangements for addressing Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI),” the government said.
(With inputs from ANI.)
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