Acceleration in delivering COVID-19 vaccine achieved in collaboration with private sector: Govt

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New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) The Centre on Thursday said the acceleration in delivering COVID-19 vaccine shots has been achieved in collaboration with the private sector which administered more than 23 per cent of the doses.

Addressing a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said 71.23 per cent of coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered in government hospitals, while 28.77 per cent of these doses have been contributed by private facilities.

'The acceleration has been achieved with active collaboration with private sector facilities,' he said.

The senior official said these are the private hospitals empanelled under the Ayushman Bharat Yojna, Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and state government health schemes.

'In places like Odisha, Maharashtra, Delhi and Telangana, these also include such private facilities which are not covered under the above three categories. These have been permitted because they have adequate number of space, cold chain, vaccinators and arrangements to address adverse event following immunisation,' he added.

Talking about accelerating deliverance of vaccine doses, Bhushan said on March 4, 10 lakh vaccines were administered in 24 hours, while on March 8, 20 lakh vaccines were given in 24 hours.

Asked if the pace of vaccination has dropped, the health secretary noted, 'What we are looking at is a steady increase. We are not trying to win a race.” He said the government has made its system flexible so that those private facilities that have the capacity can do COVID-19 vaccination 24 hours seven days a week.

'While for state government hospitals, the advice is they should do it for minimum four days a week because they have other work also which is non-COVID essential facilities. The states have been given discretion, we do not want to adversely impact the non-COVID essential health services which are delivered by the same hospitals,' he said.

Bhushan also gave data of the states/UTs where the vaccinations in private facilities are below the national average. He also gave the data of percentage of private facilities in these areas.

These states/UTs include Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

'These are the states/UTs where we requested that private hospitals need to scale up,' he said.

Bhushan added that till 1 pm on Thursday, 2,56,90,545 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered, out of which, 67,86,086 doses were given to those above 60 years and people aged 45-60 years with comorbidities.

As many as 71,97,541 healthcare workers have been given the first dose, while 40,13,890 have been given the second dose. As many as 70,55,074 frontline workers have been given the first dose, while 6,37,954 have been given the second dose, the official said.

'Till yesterday (Wednesday), we completed 53 days of vaccination administration in India. According to Our World in Data, in the first 53 days, US vaccinated 3.68 crore doses which started its vaccination in December last year. India which started its vaccination programme on January 16 has given 2.56 crore vaccine doses, Brazil which started its vaccination process a day after India has administered 1.13 crore doses, while the UK which started the same on December 8 last even before the US has administered 94 lakh doses,' he said.

“Just 0.020 per cent adverse event post immunisation has been reported with 0.00025 per cent resulting in hospitalisation in India,” Bhushan added.