Vaccine makers are also finding it difficult to sell vaccines to private hospitals and have stockpiles lying around that are part of the 25 percent quota allocated for private hospitals, sources have told CNN-News18.
Vaccines are available free of cost at government-run vaccination centres. The same vaccines are offered at Rs 780 and Rs 1,410 per dose for Covishield and Covaxin respectively at private hospitals.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in June that only the Centre would buy COVID-19 vaccines from drugmakers. The new vaccination policy outlined that 75 percent of the total procurement will be handed over to the government hospitals, while the remaining 25 percent will be given to the private sector.
Patnaik had also appealed to PM Modi to increase the share of vaccines for the government hospitals from 75 percent to 95 percent. A similar request was made by Patnaik’s fellow party member and BJD MP Pinaki Misra during PM Modi’s meeting with floor leaders on COVID-19 in Parliament last week.
A war of words broke out between the Union Health Minister and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi who tweeted “July is gone, the vaccine shortage hasn't gone away”.
Mandaviya hit back at the Congress leader in a series of tweets accusing him of indulging in petty politics. “I have heard that you are one of the 13 crore people who were vaccinated in July. But you did not speak a word for our scientists, did not appeal to the public to vaccinate. Meaning you are doing petty politics in the name of vaccination. You lack maturity,” tweeted Mandaviya.
Bharat Biotech is projected to increase the supply of Covaxin from 2 crore doses a month to 2.5 crore doses in August.
About 47 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered so far in India. While 10 crore people have been fully vaccinated, 36 crore have received at least one dose.