Covid-19 vaccine at private centres to be expensive? AIIMS director explains

Updated on Feb 24, 2021 06:26 PM IST

Following the announcement, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director Randeep Guleria said, the private vaccination centres "will allow people to come and get vaccinated the way they feel comfortable.

Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have co-developed Covaxin, which is one of the two Covid-19 vaccines currently approved for use in India by the national drugs regulator. (REUTERS)
Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have co-developed Covaxin, which is one of the two Covid-19 vaccines currently approved for use in India by the national drugs regulator. (REUTERS)
By | Edited by Shivani, New Delhi

The government has roped in thousands of hospitals as it is set to begin the second phase of the vaccination drive against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) from March 1. During this phase of the inoculation drive, those above 60 years and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities are eligible for the vaccines in government as well as private centres, the government said on Wednesday. However, the government is yet to set a decide vaccination cost.

Following the announcement, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director Randeep Guleria said, the private vaccination centres "will allow people to come and get vaccinated the way they feel comfortable. A lot of vaccine hesitancy will be taken care of by this." He also said that Covishield, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and the indigenously-developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech are in the affordable range. “The vaccines of both Bharat Biotech and SII are not very costly. I am sure everyone would be able to afford it," the AIIMS director also said.

Also Read | 'Expect most ministers to pay for their Covid vaccines': Ravi Shankar Prasad

Further speaking on the break up of per vaccine cost, Guleria said, "Charges would be to just cover overheads which private sectors would need. Some of which may include the cost of syringes and human resource. Like it was done for testing where charges were fixed to ensure that those aren't misused and the private sector also doesn't suffer loss."

"Simultaneously, we have to keep changing the vaccines also to keep into account the new variants that are emerging," Guleria also said.

During the country’s first phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive, only health workers and frontline workers were vaccinated in the government-listed centres. India has inoculated 10,767,000 people against Covid-19 so far in the first phase of vaccination. Out of this, 1.4 million people have received a second dose as well, the Union minister Prakash Javadekar said in the briefing on Wednesday.

India's Covid-19 tally reached 11,030,176 and the death toll stands at 156,567, according to the Union ministry of health and family welfare on Wednesday morning.

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