Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has called for a roll back of the provision by which private hospitals are allowed to directly procure Covid vaccines and administer them at rates of their choice.
In a letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Reddy said that at a time when vaccine shortages are affecting free inoculation campaigns of the government, private hospitals are charging between Rs 2,000 and Rs 25,000 for the jabs.
As per the liberalised policy, the private hospitals willing to provide vaccination services may procure vaccine doses directly from the manufacturers, exclusively from the 50 per cent earmarked for ‘other than government’s’ channel.
“Vaccine is for the public good and it needs to be given for free or at least at affordable rates” Reddy pointed out in his note.
Andhra Pradesh has currently put on hold, its vaccination drive for people in the age group of 18-40, on account of vaccines shortage, under both channels of supply.
“Making available various options to the public to get vaccinated, in both government and private hospitals, would be a good idea only if there is a surplus supply and availability of vaccines, wherein anyone can choose any mode as per their choice or financial capability,” Reddy added.
Under the circumstances, the chief minister felt that the Centre must stop dispensing vaccines to private hospitals, so that the adequate vaccine supply for the government to smoothly provide vaccination to the public.