A medic administers a dose of COVID-19 vaccine to citizens during the third phase of inoculation drive, at Nair Hospital in Mumbai (PTI)
NEW DELHI: Daily vaccinations against Covid-19 have declined sharply as most private hospitals are yet to tie up with manufacturers for supplies.
Even large hospital chains such as Max Healthcare, Fortis and Apollo, which have procured vaccines directly from the manufacturer, have limited stocks and are being able to organise only a few vaccination sessions at select sites.
An average of only 2,000 sites in private hospitals conducted vaccinations on Monday and Tuesday, whereas only 1,000 sites delivered the shots during the weekend. This is compared to over 5,000 private sector sites that conducted vaccinations daily before May 1.
On Tuesday, only 11.5 lakh doses of Covid vaccines were given till 8pm. This included 2.29 lakh beneficiaries in 18-44 years age group. Though most government sites are conducting vaccination, availability of vaccines is very limited. Of the total 55,739 vaccination sites on Tuesday, 53,721 were government facilities. Private sector operated only 2,018 sites.
While 30-45 lakh doses were being administered daily till about mid-April, it dropped to the range of 4-14 lakh doses since May 1, when the Centre initiated Phase 3 of the vaccination drive extending the coverage to all those above 18 years of age.
This meant that under the new policy, states and private sector were asked to procure jabs on their own. While the Centre continues to procure 50% of local production and distribute it through states for the 45+ population and health and front-line workers, the rest is for procurement by states and private sector.