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Of 42,000 vaccines sold to Punjab private hospitals, 30,000 bought by one

Thirty-nine other institutes bought anything ranging from 100 to 1,000 vaccines, sources have told The Sunday Express. For instance, the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital in Ludhiana purchased about 1,000 vaccines.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh |
Updated: June 6, 2021 8:26:03 pm
Of 42,000 vaccines sold to Punjab private hospitals, 30,000 bought by oneMax Healthcare and Fortis are among the top nine corporate hospital groups that have bought 50 per cent of the vaccine quota for private hospitals. (File)

Of the 42,000 doses of Covaxin sold to 40 private hospitals in Punjab by the government, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mohali, bought the maximum chunk of 30,000 vaccines.

Thirty-nine other institutes bought anything ranging from 100 to 1,000 vaccines, sources have told The Sunday Express. For instance, the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital in Ludhiana purchased about 1,000 vaccines.

Fortis Hospital in Mohali, however, did not place any order.

Max Healthcare and Fortis are among the top nine corporate hospital groups that have bought 50 per cent of the vaccine quota for private hospitals. Max is at number two in the list with 12.97 lakh doses in six cities.

The list of purchasing hospitals, uploaded on Cova App of the state government till Friday, was removed after the government withdrew its earlier orders related to sale of vaccines.

Muneesh Ojha, a spokesperson for Max hospital, said that they had returned the vaccines to the government after the withdrawal order. “We have returned the vaccines. That is all I can say.”

It is learnt that the file pertaining to the sale of vaccines was signed from the top and Civil Surgeons were then asked to get in touch with the hospitals and take orders from them.

According to Vikas Garg, the nodal officer for vaccines in the state, hospitals were invited to get vaccines from the government. “We supplied them as per their demand. Some hospitals wanted more vaccines, while others wanted less,” he said.

The 40 private hospitals were able to vaccinate only 600 persons in a week. Government sources said the lack of interest was owing to the preference for Covishield in the state due to its acceptance abroad.

A senior government functionary said, “The government had decided to give the vaccines to private hospitals as there were requests from many people in the state who wanted their children vaccinated to send them abroad.” He said the vaccine manufacturers were selling Covaxin doses to private hospitals at Rs 1,040. “The states get this for Rs 420…Had we done it at Rs 420, only then we could be accused of wrongdoing.”

Hussan Lal, Punjab Health Secretary, said, “When the government thought that the well intentioned step was not taken in the spirit it was meant to be, it decided to withdraw the vaccines. The matter should rest here now.”

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