Updated: June 24, 2021 9:03:36 am
Some private hospitals in Pune have appealed to local residents, who can afford to pay for the Covid-19 vaccine, to get the jabs at their facilities. From Tuesday, vaccinations started free of cost for the 18-44 age group across centres run by the civic body. While it is early days yet, some large hospitals said they have seen a drop in footfall of beneficiaries, and some of them are now focusing on tie-ups with the corporate sector for workplace vaccinations.
At Noble Hospital, executive director Dr H K Sale said that the hospital was administering close to 3,000 vaccine doses daily and had placed orders with the vaccine manufacturer accordingly. “We have received another 12,000 doses and now will place orders if people want to take them in the private sector. It is important that those who are needy and economically challenged get their free doses at municipal corporation-run centres. There is already a price capping of both Covishield and Covaxin doses, so those who can afford to pay can take their jabs from private facilities,” said Dr Sale.
Dr Vijay Natarajan, CEO of Symbiosis Hospital, said hey were administering close to 2,000 vaccine doses daily in the 18-44 age group prior to the government making it free of cost. “We are noting a drop in the numbers. For instance, it would barely take seconds for people in this age group to book appointments on the Co-Win app once slots for 1,500 or 2,000 vaccine doses are opened up every day. However, now they remain open for several hours. Today, slots for 2000 vaccine doses were opened up but only 1,400 have been filled. By the end of the day, there would be only 1,000 who report for the vaccine doses,” said Dr Natarajan.
Close to 50,000 people in the 18-44 age group have been administered the Covid-19 vaccine dose at Symbiosis Hospital. “Walk-in beneficiaries are now being allowed at private hospitals in this age group and we will have to wait and watch before placing more orders,” said Dr Natarajan.
The hospital had placed an order of one lakh doses and received 12,000 doses as the first instalment over the last weekend. “We are also focusing on tie-ups with corporate firms for workplace vaccinations,” added Dr Natarajan.
At Ruby Hall Clinic, CEO Bomi Bhote said their main role was to treat people and vaccination was taken up to help authorities reach the maximum number of people. “We are catering to requirements in the corporate sector,” he said.
At Jehangir hospital, CEO Dr Vinod Sawantwadkar said the hospital has administered at least 61,000 vaccine doses till now. “We have set up a large facility, anticipating a huge crowd. Close to 4,000 doses were being administered. Another facility has also been set up at Dastur School and we are aiming to vaccinate another 50,000 beneficiaries. We have received 34,000 doses and will administer doses to walk-in beneficiaries, apart from those in the corporate sector. We are waiting for another 15,000 doses and then will check when to place a new order,” he said.
According to Abrari Dalal, CEO of Sahyadri Hospitals, the hospital was able to administer 70,000 Covid vaccine doses across their five units at Deccan, Surya Sahyadri, Bibvewadi, Hadapsar and Nagar Road from May 22 till June 22. “So far, there has not been a marked change in footfall yet,” he added.
Authorities at Deenanath Hospital, however, said they were administering close to 3,000 vaccine doses daily. They said that there was a drop in the number of people seeking vaccines and while they had placed an order of 50,000 doses, they would utilise it accordingly for administering the second dose for beneficiaries.
Dr J Ravindranath, director at Poona Hospital, also said that there has been a drop in the number of people seeking vaccination at the facility. “We have not ordered huge quantities and are yet to receive 12,000 vaccine doses. However, whoever wants to get the dose can walk in at the hospital,” Dr Ravindranath said.
Meanwhile, Dr Suryankant Deokar, Pune Municipal Corporation immunisation officer, said that 54 dispensaries and hospitals were engaged in conducting free-of-cost vaccinations for the 18-44 age group. Of the beneficiaries, 70 per cent doses are given to those who have registered online, and 30 per cent is for walk-in ones, he said. There are a total of 184 vaccination centres in PMC areas, he said.
According to Dr Sachin Edke, Pune district immunisation officer, instructions have been issued to maintain vaccination sessions for both the 18-44 age group and those above 45. Till June 21, Pune district has administered 38.05 lakh Covid vaccine doses, of which 34.38 lakh are Covishield doses while 3.57 lakh are Covaxin doses.
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