THD NewsDesk, New Delhi: Private hospital chains Apollo, Max and Fortis will start their vaccination drive of the age group of 18-44 tomorrow. Several states have said they cannot launch vaccinations for 18-plus people on Saturday as planned as they do not have enough vaccine stocks.
Apollo said it would start the vaccination drive from tomorrow in a limited number of the centres across the country.
In a statement it said
“The vaccination program will begin with limited quantities and will be ramped up in the weeks ahead. Apollo Hospitals will also be organizing special camps for corporates.”
Max hospitals also said they are getting ready to roll out vaccines for 18 years and above starting tomorrow.
Fortis healthcare chain is going to start with the northern part of the country and said they would expand as and when they get more stock. It said it will administer Covaxin shots at ₹ 1250 per dose, which is inclusive of the cost of the vaccine and administration charges.
In the latest mandate by the government, the vaccines have been liberalized. 50% of the vaccines will be sold to the states and the private sectors at whatever prices they like and 50% to the center at the existing rates.
Many of the states are complaining about this discrimination in the prices.
The companies say they will prioritise the Centre, which will continue vaccinating those above 45.
Serum announced a price of ₹ 400 and Bharat Biotech set the prices at ₹ 600 for states. Both companies later slashed the prices for state governments with Serum bringing it down to ₹ 300 and Bharat Biotech reducing it to ₹ Rs 400 per dose.
Shobana Kamineni, Executive Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Group said,
“The second wave has come like a tsunami with an exponential rise in the number of cases. The second wave of infections has seen younger patients getting affected and vaccinating everyone above the age of 18 will help in stopping the relentless rise in COVID cases and bring a COVID-free future closer to reality.”
Mass scale vaccinization will start from tomorrow but that is also in a very limited way since there are no stocks available for most states.