In its attempts at proactive measures to thwart any possible Covid threat, government’s aggressive campaigning for vaccine and booster shots has led multitudes to line up at healthcare centres. However, the health administration being caught unawares at the sudden demand, has now asked its affiliates to independently procure supplies to meet the demand.
On Wednesday, the Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA), an apex body of private hospitals in the city, asked member groups to procure the doses directly from the manufacturers. AHNA has around 900 members hospitals in Ahmedabad. It is expected that private hospitals will have to wait for at least a week to procure vaccines from drug manufacturing companies. According to AHNA officials, even AMC hospitals lack the Covid vaccine stock.
Booster shots for people in the 19 to 59 age group are available at private hospitals. Interestingly, despite Covishield and Covaxin having revised rates of Rs 225, end users have to pay Rs 386 (Rs 225 + 5% GST + Rs 150 administrative charges) at private hospitals for the booster shot. AHNA further added that most hospitals will order Covishield, as there is a greater demand for the same. The statement briefed that private hospitals have reported 400 to 500 inquiries every day for booster doses.
In a statement, AHNA president Dr Bharat Gadhavi said that given the short supply of Covid vaccines and the sudden surge in demand, the association has decided that 15 hospitals from different areas will administer the vaccines.
“For this, the hospitals will collectively place an order with the drug manufacturing company for the supply of the vaccine. This means, the supply will be limited and wastage can be avoided,” added Dr Viren Shah, Medical Director, Super Surgical Hospital.