Private hospital chains Apollo and Max will start Covid shots for people across the country between 18 and 44 from tomorrow when vaccinations are opened to all adults.
Various states have said they cannot start vaccinations for 18-plus people on Saturday as planned as they do not have vaccine stocks.
The Apollo group in a statement said, “The vaccination program will begin with limited quantities and will be ramped up in the weeks ahead. Apollo Hospitals will also be organizing special camps for corporates.” Apollo says it will use Covishield vaccination.
Max hospitals also said they are getting ready to roll out vaccines for 18 years and above starting tomorrow.
In the latest phase of the nationwide vaccination drive that started in January, states and private companies can buy doses directly from producers. Vaccine-makers will sell 50 per cent of their doses to the state government and private companies at higher rates while providing the rest to the Centre at existing rates.
Several states have complained about the differential pricing and say they have been told by the makers that stocks will arrive later.
The companies say they will prioritise the Centre, which will continue vaccinating those above 45.
Finally, many among the younger beneficiaries may need to wait for now.
Private hospitals have to obtain vaccines at up to ? 1,200 per dose.
Serum announced a price of ? 400 rupees for states and ? 600 for private hospitals, Bharat Biotech set the prices at ? 600 and ? 1,200 a dose.
This is the highest price across the world for Covishield – the Indian name for the vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca.
Both companies later reduced the prices for state governments.
Apollo said the vaccines would be given to those who have registered on the CoWIN app and have made an appointment for the vaccine jab at Apollo Hospitals.
Shobana Kamineni, Executive Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Group said, “The second wave has come like a tsunami with an exponential rise in the number of cases. The second wave of infections has seen younger patients getting affected and vaccinating everyone above the age of 18 will help in stopping the relentless rise in COVID cases and bring a COVID-free future closer to reality.”