Companies in the healthcare sector said that the procurement of vaccines by the Center will give a boost to immunization as the central government is stronger to deal with multinational companies.
The companies also demanded lowering of vaccine prices for private companies and higher service charges for vaccinations away from hospitals.
Welcoming Prime Minister Modi’s announcement, Kiran Sha Mazumdar, executive chairperson of pharmaceutical company Biocon, said, “It is good to see that the central government has decided to procure the vaccine itself and give it to the states free of cost.” But transparency in allocation and supply schedules is important for states. I hope that the states will be given their place in the priority list on the basis of infection pressure, ratio of infection in the test and death rate.
Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman, Manipal Hospitals, said, “Central procurement of vaccines will definitely give more strength to our immunization campaign as the Center deals with MNCs and other companies as compared to states and small companies directly negotiating with these companies. Stronger in terms of procuring vaccines from manufacturers.”
“Free immunization for people aged 18 years and above is a welcome step. Not much will change as far as the private sector is concerned,” he said.
Fortis Healthcare said in a statement, “We welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement today to ease the process of vaccine procurement and to make the vaccine available to all citizens free of cost in government hospitals.”
Shuchin Bajaj, Founder Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, said, “Ideally the vaccine should be free of cost but this is a good step for the beginning and we are hopeful that the campaign will accelerate and go as planned by the end of this year. By the time every citizen will be vaccinated. We welcome this decision.”
Shankar Narang, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Paras Healthcare, also welcomed the decision, saying, “It is a wonderful step in the direction of providing vaccine to all in the country. People of all socio-economic status will now be able to get vaccinated and we Will soon be victorious in this fight against Kovid.