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Covid-19: Bengaluru's small hospitals say not enough vaccines being supplied

The problem of vaccine shortages at private hospitals has been an ongoing issue since March
Last Updated : 06 April 2021, 21:24 IST
Last Updated : 06 April 2021, 21:24 IST
Last Updated : 06 April 2021, 21:24 IST
Last Updated : 06 April 2021, 21:24 IST

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Small- and medium-sized private hospitals in Bengaluru say they are not getting enough vaccine supplies to carry out vaccination drives at their centres.

The problem of vaccine shortages at private hospitals has been an ongoing issue since March, when vaccinations were opened up to senior citizens and those above the age of 45 with comorbidities, hospitals said.

However, while a series of meetings held with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has officially resolved the issue, according to the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes’ Association (PHANA), small and medium hospitals say they are still getting short-changed.

No shortage: Minister

Officials denied that there is a vaccine shortage, citing information from the Minister of Health, Dr K Sudhakar, that the state has 12 lakh doses on-hand, to be bolstered by an additional 15 lakh dosages.

Rajendra Cholan, Special Commissioner (BBMP), said that the Palike was supplying all hospitals with three days worth of stocks.

“This was done after we learned that some centres were running out of vaccines due to the unexpected arrival of members of the working-age population for vaccination. Therefore, it was difficult to sustain with one-day worth of stocks,” he said.

Cholan added that following consultations with the private sector, it was decided to allocate vaccines based on how sites would require, provided an indent was raised 24 hours before.”

“He said that hospitals also had the option to request vaccines based on “three-day microplans.”

“If they raise their requests, the vaccines will be made available,” the special commissioner said.

Nevertheless, Dr Jagadish Hiremath of Ace Suhas Hospital in Jigani said that the supply of vaccines to his hospital had been erratic.

“Five days ago, we only received 150 vials which were used up in two to three days and on Monday, we requested 300 vials but only received 100 vials,” he said.

He also cited long waiting hours at distribution centres and curt government staff as exacerbating problems.

At another hospital in Chokkanahalli, a senior doctor said his 50-bedded hospital was only supplied with two days worth of stock.

“Although public demand for inoculation has been disappointing, there is no possibility of conducting vaccination drives or setting up a site at nearby apartments with supplies of 150-200 vials every two days. Ideally, the BBMP should be supplying hospitals with about 300 vials at once,” said Dr Suri Raji V of Regal Hospital.

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Published 06 April 2021, 19:12 IST

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