Pvt collaboration in vaccination to help control COVID infection, says healthcare chains

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New Delhi, Mar 1 (PTI) Lauding the government for allowing private entities to be part of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, leading healthcare chains on Monday said the public and private sector collaboration would help in controlling the spread of the infectious disease in the country.

The healthcare entities said they were able to vaccinate over 3,300 people on the first day of the second round of the COVID-19 vaccination drive across the country.

Apollo Hospitals, which has over 40 hospitals approved in the second phase of vaccination, led with the administration of the vaccine in over 1,500 people across its various sites. Fortis Healthcare administered vaccines to around 1,000 people while Max Healthcare chipped in with around 770 jabs.

'We applaud the Government's decision to permit private hospitals to begin vaccinations against COVID-19. We are sure that this will enable the country to surge ahead in its endeavour to vaccinate our large population,' Apollo Hospitals Group Joint Managing Director told PTI.

The healthcare major said the success of the Government and private sector working together in the area of testing for COVID-19 played a major role in the country's success in controlling the spread of the vaccine.

'I am sure that the same success will be replicated in the vaccination programme with the private sector stepping up to the challenge,' Reddy noted.

Based on the updates until now over 1,500 vaccines have been administered today across all the Apollo sites, she added.

Reddy said that preparations at Apollo Hospitals had begun as early as October 2020 to administer one million COVID-19 vaccines daily.

'Today, we are fully prepared, and by leveraging our robust pan-India web of 19 medicine supply hubs with cold chain facilities, our network of 70 hospitals, 400 plus clinics, 500 corporate health centers, alongside our omni-channel digital platform Apollo 24|7, we stand ready to support the Government in a large-scale administration of COVID-19 vaccines,' Reddy said.

Fortis Healthcare MD & CEO Ashutosh Raghuvanshi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a great message by taking the vaccination on the first day of the rollout of the second vaccination drive.

'Fortis has vaccinated about 1000 people today and don't see any hesitancy or reluctance among people but instead, a lot of positivity, among senior citizens coming to our hospitals. The process has been smooth and supply from the government has been efficient,' he added.

He noted that Fortis has set up a call centre and a parallel booking unit through its own app and will streamline it further over the next few days, Raghuvanshi said.

'Currently, we have supplies of about 1,400 doses per day, but it is a small number and we can go up to 10 times this size as demand is much higher than current supply. We can easily manage larger numbers as we have the necessary infrastructure in place across India. All of us should see this as a collective effort to ramp up the vaccination drive in the country,' he noted.

Max Healthcare said the first day of the Phase 2 Covid vaccination saw a large number of elderly people above the age of 60 years and those above 45 yrs with co-morbidities turning up for their vaccination.

'We did above 770 shots at various centres on day 1, despite some teething issues with the online portal and the drive commencing only by noon,' the healthcare provider said in a statement.

With a considerably high number of people coming in for vaccination, Max Healthcare is sure that overall people are extremely positive about getting the vaccination shot and believe in its efficacy.

'There was a slight glitch due to a server downtime of the CoWIN registration portal which we expect will get ironed out in the coming few days,' it noted.

India expanded its COVID-19 vaccine coverage on Monday by including everyone over 60 and those aged between 45-59 who have co-morbidities in the net with Prime Minister Narendra Modi setting the pace by being the first person to take a jab.

Thousands of people queued up at government and private medical facilities across the country as the country further opened its vaccination programme that started on January 16 for healthcare and sanitary workers. PTI MSS MR MR