COVID19 vaccines to cost Rs 250 per dose in private hospitals

Vaccine, Feb 27: COVID19 vaccines, set to be offered to those above 60 years and people over 45 years with specified comorbidities, will cost every beneficiary Rs 250 per shot in private hospitals across India starting Monday.

Top sources in the Union ministry of health and family welfare told that the vaccine makers will get Rs 150 per jab while hospitals will earn Rs 100 per shot for every dose of the vaccine administered.

Of the Rs 100 per shot marked as a user fee that the hospitals will earn, Rs 50 per jab might go to the vaccinator while Rs 50 will go in the hospital’s kitty for logistics.

The prices of the vaccines were fixed after several rounds of meetings between government officials, led by V K Paul, member (health) Niti Aayog who heads the National Expert Group on Covid19 Vaccine Administration, and representatives from the two vaccine manufacturers whose vaccines have been approved in India so far.

Interestingly, the prices of each dose of vaccine for individuals will be less than the prices at which the government had procured the vaccines in the first phase for healthcare and frontline workers.

The Centre had paid Rs 200 per dose for Covishield by Serum Institute of India and Rs 295 per dose for Covaxin by Bharat Biotech, excluding taxes, when it had procured 110 million and 55 million doses of the two vaccines respectively last month.

Also, at the beginning of the second phase of the vaccine, only Covishield, developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca, will be made available in about 20,000 private hospitals where the expanded COVID-19 vaccination drive is set to begin, said officials.

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This is largely because Covishield is available in larger quantities and also we don’t want a situation where private hospitals refuse Covaxin citing the lack of efficacy data from phase 3 trial,” said a source.

Meanwhile, a body of private hospitals on Friday wrote to the government urging that apart from the facilities empanelled for various health insurance schemes including the Central Government Health Scheme and Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana, accredited hospitals should also be involved in the vaccination drive.

There are about 800 hospitals accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers and nearly 600 hospitals accredited by the National Board of Examination.

These hospitals have a proven track record in quality and patient safety …and put together it will be of sizable number, to cover the vast majority of our population,” wrote the Association of Healthcare Providers of India in a letter to the Prime Minister.