COVID-19 vaccines prepared for those above 60 years and people over 45 years with specified comorbidities, will cost Rs 250 per shot in private hospitals across India from Monday, March 1st.
A source in the Union ministry of health and family welfare told newsmen that the vaccine makers will get Rs 150 per jab leaving hospitals to earn Rs 100 per shot for every dose of the vaccine offered.
Further distribution of the Rs 100 per shot marked as a fee for the hospitals will be divided with Rs 50 per jab going to the vaccinator while Rs 50 goes to the hospital’s kitty for logistics.
The sharing decision was reached 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.
This is good news as the prices of each dose of vaccine will be less than the prices at which the government had purchased it 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. The price is excluding taxes, when it had purchased 110 million and 55 million doses of the two vaccines last month.
Then, at the beginning of the second phase of the vaccine, only Covishield, developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca, will be available in about 20,000 private hospitals where the expanded COVID-19 vaccination drive will begin, according to officials.
“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.
A body of private hospitals on Friday wrote to the government urging that apart from the facilities impaneled 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 up to 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,” said the Association of Healthcare Providers of India.