After vaccine shortage, hospitals now face jab wastage

After vaccine shortage, private hospitals now face jab wastage

There are currently as many as 10 million unused vaccine doses with private hospitals

A health worker prepares a dose of the Covaxin vaccine against Covid-19 at a health centre in New Delhi. Credit: AFP File Photo

As Covid-19 cases in India witness a downward trend and talks of possible booster shots arise, private hospitals face a new issue - vaccine wastage.

Not so long ago, the demaind for Covid-19 vaccines outweighed the supply, leading to hospitals hoarding jabs.

However, as trends started to reverse, private hospitals are trying to use up their stockpiled vaccine doses before they expire, Business Standard reported.

In an attempt to limit the wastage, many private hospitals are providing free jabs to people, the report said.

Read: Flu vaccine demand takes off in India as pandemic raises awareness

There are as many as 10 million unused vaccine doses with private hospitals, Girdhar Gyani, director-general of the Association of Healthcare Providers (India) told Business Standard.

Out of these, 15-20 per cent are staring at expiration in a month's time. In December, roughly 2 million vaccine doses may face wastage.  

States and Union Territories have 219 million unused vaccine doses - one month's stock - as of November 23. Some private hospitals, like Manipal Group, have conveyed that they will review the situation in mid-January.

“We do not anticipate an issue with our vaccine stock, given the expiry period available,” Dilip Jose, managing director (MD), Manipal Hospitals, was quoted telling the publication.

Many hospitals are slowing down when it comes to placing fresh vaccine orders given the current situation.

“We order our vaccine stocks in a prudent manner, so that we are never overstocked. We are also reaching out to people to take their second dose. While we continue to vaccinate across all our centres in India, the volumes are currently low. We urge all eligible adults to take their vaccine doses and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour,” Bishnu Panigrahi, group head, medical strategy and operations, Fortis Healthcare told the publication.

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