Chennai: Private hospitals in Tamil Nadu have not slashed the prices of the Covid vaccines – Covishield Aid Covaxin – even though the government announced a steep reduction. The central government has announced that both Covishield and Covaxin will be available for Rs 225 and service charge of Rs 150.
Many private hospitals attribute this to their old stock bought at a higher price.
“The government has set a limit and I am sure all private hospitals will follow it. We will implement it in a few days,” Dr Ashlesha Vijay Sheth, head of emergency medicine at Kauvery Hospital in Chennai, told NDTV.
The precautionary dose paid took off on a dull note in Chennai today. All private hospitals NDTV spoke to, reported poor response.
Tamilselvi, a mother of two, was among the first to take a paid booster dose. “I feel safe. Not everyone in my family has come. The government should make it free for the poor,” she said.
Pacma, a florist, said she would skip the paid booster dose for now because she couldn’t afford it.
Pachma earns only Rs 300 a day. There are six members in the family, “all still recovering from loss of income during the last two lockdowns,” she said.
Hospitals are hopeful of improving turnout once awareness comes about this.
There are mixed reactions on social media. While those who can afford it are fine with paying for booster doses, many express concern about the poor being left to fend for themselves. Some people also oppose the idea of PM Cares Fund being used for this.
The Tamil Nadu government says that so far 92 percent of the population over 18 have taken both doses and 75 percent have taken at least one.
The ruling DMK is yet to comment on the precautionary dose paid.
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