On Saturday, The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare finalized and fixed COVID-19 vaccine cost, and this new pricing is available for those who are above 60 years and people over 45 years with specified comorbidities. The cost of the vaccine is going to be Rs. 250 per shot in private hospitals. An important statement came out from the ministry’s side that only Covishield, which is developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca, will be available for about 20,000 hospitals.
The ministry issued certain criteria and it says that those who are having diabetes for over 10 years or hypertension complications, will not be given the shot. And, people who were diagnosed with cancer since July last year, myeloma or blood cancer, lymphoma, acid attack survivors with the involvement of the respiratory system, and those with HIV will be eligible to receive the shots.
Apart from this, heart patients, transplant patients, or people having disabilities are also included in this list. According to an agreement between the vaccine manufacturing company, authorities of private hospitals, and the government, it has been confirmed that the vaccine manufacturing companies will get Rs. 150 per shot and the hospitals will earn Rs. 100 for the same.
A report tells that nearly 10,000 private hospitals are under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana panel and almost 687 hospitals come under the panel of Central Government Health Scheme and the rest of the private hospitals are impaneled under the state health insurance schemes and can participate in the vaccination drive.
It took several meetings between government officials to finally fix the cost of the vaccine, and those meetings were mostly led by V K Paul, who is the representative of Bharat Biotech and SII and heads the National Expert Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Administration. This time the cost of the vaccine will be less than it was for the first and second phases of the vaccination drive.
Last month, the Centre procured 110 million and 55 million doses of Covishield by SII and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech, excluding taxes, and had paid Rs. 200 and Rs. 295 for the two vaccines respectively. The Centre officials gave an explanation that why only Covishield will be available in the hospitals and it mentioned two reasons that Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is facing supply issues right now and people have more faith in Covishield as compared to any other vaccine in the market.
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Having faith in a large can only be possible because of the availability of Covishield in larger quantities. Meanwhile, many private hospitals reached the center demanding that accredited hospitals should also be included in the vaccination drive. Now, there are around 800 private hospitals that were accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers, and about 600 other hospitals were accredited by the National Board of Examination.
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List of comorbidities for determining eligibility for vaccination
- A person going through severe respiratory disease and hospitalization in the last two years
- Currently on cancer therapy or diagnosis of any type of cancer after July 1, 2020
- Bone marrow failure/sickle cell disease/major thalassemia
- HIV infection
- Acid attack victims, people with multiple disabilities including deaf/blindness
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