With demand for paid vaccines dropping, private hospitals in Mumbai stuck with 10L doses, Health News, ET HealthWorld

MUMBAI: Private hospitals in the city are believed to be in possession of nearly 10 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine, as per estimates with BMC.

While civic authorities have urged these hospitals to exhaust the doses as early as possible, many are unable to do so due to substantial drop in demand for paid vaccination—sequentially, 41% less doses were administered in the private sector in July.

The bulk of the stocks are with a handful of hospitals, sources said. A glance at CoWin shows some, presumably with adequate supplies, have opened slots for up to a week in advance. Most others have offered a few hundred slots for 1-3 days. Hospitals said anywhere between 60% and 90% of slots get filled up.

Nanavati, Surana, Advanced Multi Speciality in Vile Parle and P D Hinduja are among hospitals that have opened slots many days in advance. In MMR, Apollo in Navi Mumbai, Doddu Sheena Shetty in Badlapur and Highway Hospital in Thane have thousands of doses on offer.

A private hospital head told TOI some facilities that had procured doses in bulk are worried as demand has dropped and their stocks have an expiry date. “It’s likely more hospitals could take the CSR route to use up doses,” he said—they may collaborate with government agencies to reach the unvaccinated population. Many are also optimistic that demand will show an uptick when more become eligible for 2nd dose in August.

BMC numbers show at least 9 lakh were eligible for the second jab through July.

BMC, meanwhile, said it remains open to tie-ups to vaccinate sections that cannot afford to pay. As of now, it has commitments for more than 6 lakh doses through CSR channels. “People who could pay to get vaccinated have done so already. Hence, we see a drop in demand for paid vaccination and longer queues at public centres,” said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner.

While doses in private hospitals have few takers, BMC couldn’t hold a drive on Wednesday due to shortage. It resumed on Thursday after the corporation received 1.05 lakh doses, but that will barely last a day or two. The corporation has the capacity to vaccinate 1-1.5lakh daily; but it has managed to vaccinate one-lakh a day only on eight days since January.

Recently, the Centre indicated that the 25% quota for private sector may be reviewed because of low utilisation. Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya had told Rajya Sabha that the government procured 7-9% of stocks from the private sector’s quota since it had not been utilised.

Source link