In a shocking revelation at a time when there is vaccine shortage in the country, only 17.05 per cent of the total vaccines received from the Centre were used by the private hospitals in May, says government data.
Of the 1.85 crore vaccines earmarked for private hospitals across India, 1.29 crore doses were provided to them in May, however, the government data showed, only 22 lakh doses were used.
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On Saturday evening, Gujarat became the third state after Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh to administer cumulatively 2 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
Therefore, private hospitals are left with a large part of the unused vaccine.
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Earlier this month, the government fixed the maximum price that private hospitals can charge for Covid vaccines amid opposition allegations of profiteering.
Over 26.68 crore (26,68,36,620) vaccine doses have been provided to states and Union Territories so far through the Government of India and direct state procurement category. The government issued a statement saying that some media reports claimed that 25 percent of the vaccine was allocated to private hospitals, out of which only 7.5 percent were administered by hospitals. "These reports are not accurate and do not match with the available data", the government release says. This includes taxes as well as a 150-rupee service charge for the hospitals. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said India will shift to centralised procurement of vaccines, after several states faced difficulties in procuring and managing the funding of vaccines. Private hospitals will have exclusive access to the remaining 25 per cent. Critics pointed out that many countries are inoculating all sections of their population for free, with the government bearing all costs.
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