TN CM asks Centre to reduce pvt hospital jab allocation

CM Stalin asks Centre to reduce Covid-19 vaccine allocation to private hospitals from 25% to 10%

Out of 43.5 lakh doses administered in the state, private institutions have contributed to only 4.5 lakh doses which are just 10 per cent

Tamil Nadu CM and DMK leader M K Stalin. Credit: PTI Photo

Complaining that Tamil Nadu had been allotted fewer doses compared to its per thousand population, Chief Minister M K Stalin on Monday wrote to the Union government, reiterating his demand for allocation of an additional one crore Covid-19 vaccine doses to correct the “inadequate allotment” in the past.

In the letter, Stalin also asked Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to revise the allocation between the government and private institutions to 90:10 as against the current allocation of 75:25. He said Tamil Nadu’s daily performance of vaccination has tripled in June due to the Centre’s decision to procure Covid vaccines and issuing them free of cost to all states and “my government’s continuous efforts”.

“The availability of vaccines has emerged as the principal constraint in the last few weeks after the pick-up in vaccination. This is particularly significant for us since our allotment so far has been one of the lowest among the states in the country in terms of doses per thousand population,” Stalin said, reminding the Health Minister of his earlier request for an allocation of 1 crore doses.

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The request has not been acceded to and the incremental increase in allocation for June-July is just in line with the increases made available to other states, who had got higher allotment in the past and have already vaccinated more people.

He termed as “grossly higher” 25 per cent allocation to private hospitals when compared to the actual vaccinations done by them. In Tamil Nadu, 1.43 crore doses have been used, out of which private hospitals have used only 6.5 lakh doses, which translates to just 4.5 per cent.

Even in the current month, out of 43.5 lakh doses administered in the state, private institutions have contributed to only 4.5 lakh doses, which is just 10 per cent.

“The above mismatch between demand and supply in government and private institutions has resulted in a situation where the private hospitals in Tamil Nadu have around 7-8 lakh doses available with them, which is equivalent to one-month performance, whereas government institutions are left with just 2 lakh doses, which is lesser than their current single day usage,” he said.

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Stalin said the allotment of 25 percent of vaccines produced to private hospitals may be to incentivise manufacturers, by allowing them to sell a portion at a comparatively better price.

“While this is acceptable, the need for better-blended pricing for vaccine manufacturers should not be allowed to undermine our immediate goal of vaccinating our people at the maximum possible speed. This can be achieved by increasing the allocation of vaccines to performing government hospitals,” he said.

At the same time, he said the Union government’s procurement price can be increased to ensure that the blended price under the new policy is the same as the current one.

“Revise the inter-se allocation between the government and private institutions to 90:10 as against the current allocation of 75:25,” he said.

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