Citizens forced to turn to private vax facilities in Chandigarh tricity
With the tricity authorities struggling to procure Covid-19 vaccine for the young age group, the citizens are forced to head towards private facilities to get jabbed.
However, the shot comes at a price, anywhere between ₹850 and ₹1,500, unlike free vaccine available at government centres.
In Chandigarh, all slots for the 18-44 years age group at government centres are filled till June 4, and the fresh supply of 36,000 doses expected in the first week has been delayed till at least June 10. Panchkula, too, is facing an acute shortage, with the number of doses being administered daily falling significantly. In Mohali, the administration is vaccinating only a few priority groups among the younger population.
While private hospitals in Mohali launched vaccination for this age group in early May, even Cloudnine Hospital in Panchkula opened the drive three days back while private facilities in Chandigarh followed suit on Tuesday.
These private facilities are buying the vaccine directly from manufacturers. While Covishield is procured for ₹600 per dose, Covaxin costs ₹1,200. However, the citizens have to shelve an extra amount due to service and other charges involved.
For example, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, is offering Covaxin for ₹1,250 and Covishield for ₹850. Max Medcentre, Mohali, and Cloudnine Hospitals in Chandigarh and Panchkula are offering Covishield for ₹900. A dose of Covaxin costs the corporates ₹1,350 and other individuals ₹1,500 at Aasharkiran Fertility World in Kharar. In Chandigarh, Global Health Care Centre and Bedi Hospital are offering a dose of Covishield for ₹900.
“We are procuring Covishield directly from the manufacturer for ₹600, and with all the services, logistics and wages involved, the cost raises up to ₹900,” said Dr Sanjiv Bhatia of Global Health Care Centre, Sector 21.
“This is not a proper system to be followed for distribution. It has caused inconvenience to people, and inequality in distribution, causing a disturbance in an orderly system running successfully for a long time,” said Dr RS Bedi, owner of Bedi Hospital, Sector 33.