Covid-19: Centre tells states to aggregate vaccine demand from private sector

The total vaccines administered in the country reached 27.07 crore on June 18 with 22.04 first dose and 5.03 crore second doses administered.

With the new vaccination regime beginning on June 21, state governments have been asked to aggregate vaccine demand from the private sector. VK Paul, member, health, Niti Aayog, said aggregation of vaccine demand from private sector would ensure a systematic flow of vaccines from the vaccine manufacturers to the private sector, Paul said at a health ministry briefing on Monday. The total vaccines administered in the country reached 27.07 crore on June 18 with 22.04 first dose and 5.03 crore second doses administered.

States will have to aggregate vaccine demand and forward it to the health ministry. This was being done so that all small and large hospitals have access to vaccines and there is a good geographical spread for better vaccination coverage, Paul said. The government had through primary health care centres and sub centres reached rural and tribal areas. Nearly 53% of all the vaccines given in May-June was in rural areas and new vaccination guidelines would increase coverage further, Paul said. The private sector is expected to play a critical role in widening coverage of vaccination.

The Centre will take over the vaccination programme from state governments and plans on buying 75% of the vaccine produced while private hospitals will buy the remaining 25% of the vaccine doses.

Quoting two recent studies carried out in the country on impact of vaccination among health care workers, Paul said, that after vaccination there was a 75-80% reduction in need for hospitalisation. This was despite the fact that they were high risk workers who worked in ICUs and corona wards with higher exposure to Covid-19 patients, Paul said. Around 8% of those infected post-vaccination needed oxygen and only 6% needed ICU admission, the studies have revealed. This meant vaccination offered 94% protection in a high risk group, he said. Only one in 7,000 died and this was because of comorbidity.

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