Amid complaints by states about vaccine shortage and the unavailability of doses because of unused quota with private hospitals, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has told CNN-News18 that an order has been put in place for government hospitals to use the unused quota of vaccines in private facilities.
As per the information available with the Centre, at max, 7 per cent doses have been used by private hospitals with the states.
In the month of June, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Centre would take charge of the procurement of vaccines, it was decided that 75% would be given to government hospitals wherein 25% would be available with the private facilities.
Many states had expressed their reservation with the unused quota with private enterprises. In fact, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had spoken about this in PM Modi’s last meeting with chief ministers, requesting him to allow the state government to use the quota lying unused.
He had also had requested the prime minister to increase the quota for government hospitals from 75% to 95%. The same was suggested again by BJD parliamentary party leader Pinaki Misra in the meeting the prime minister held with floor leaders in Parliament on Covid-19 a week ago.
On Sunday, the Union health minister had countered Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s charge on vaccine shortage. In a series of tweets, Mandaviya had said that it was unfortunate that Gandhi had done petty politics on the vaccine issue yet again.
“I have heard that you are one of the 13 crore people who were vaccinated in July. But you did not speak a word for our scientists, did not appeal to the public to vaccinate. Meaning you are doing petty politics in the name of vaccination. You lack maturity.”
India is currently undertaking the world’s largest vaccination drive. To date, more than 46.77 crore people have taken the jab, this includes 36.51 crore with the first shot and 10.26 crore who have received both doses.