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COVID-19 vaccine: Max Healthcare’s Abhay Soi expects surge in vaccination from May 1

Updated : April 20, 2021 01:18:24 IST

The Central government on Monday announced liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination from May 1. As per the strategy, everyone above the age of 18 will be eligible to get a vaccine from May 1.

Welcoming the move, Abhay Soi, CMD of Max Healthcare, said that corporates and hospitals are permitted to buy vaccines, but the prices are yet to be established for the private market.

“The government has provided private manufacturers and private practitioners who interact with each other and procure. The prices are yet to be set up and I think perhaps the state governments should be getting involved in establishing prices,” he said.

Soi said that most vaccination centers operating at less than 40 percent capacity, but is expecting a surge in people coming forward for vaccination.

“Most of our centers have been operating at less than 40 percent capacity for vaccination for people who have been privy to this vaccine so far. So, one was expecting a huge amount of influx of people but it wasn’t the case. Hopefully, it is not going to be the case this time around,” he said.

However, he said that there are challenges in terms of testing and hospitalisation. Soi added that they went up threefold in terms of COVID bed capacity and are operating at more than 70 percent capacity. “We have ramped up capacity and we are operating at more than 70 percent capacity which is dedicated to COVID. We have gone up threefold over the last 8-10 days in our bed capacity which is dedicated to COVID and we can go up another 30-40 percent,” he said.

However, he said that there is a need for micro-lockdowns so that the healthcare system has some breathing space to handle the surge in cases.

He said that the oxygen requirement has risen manifold. “Seeing severe patients requiring 8-10 litre of oxygen which is not possible at home,” he said.

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