Hospitals should be allowed to vaccinate critical patients, paying clients, Uday Kotak said (File)
A month after banker Uday Kotak wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the private sector has still not been involved in Covid vaccinations across the country.
In his January 14 letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Kotak wrote: “ Hospitals [should] be authorized to vaccinate critical patients and paying clients over time to ensure that the vaccine reaches all as quickly as possible, without diverting resources from the government strategy of beneficiaries. ”
A separate CII proposal, also seen by NDTV, indicates that businesses nationwide would gain significantly from deployment and that the private sector could play a central role in improving essential supply so that more than 80% of citizens are covered.
CII suggests that to ensure faster deployment and also to give workers confidence in the workplace, companies could be allowed to vaccinate their employees and assist with deployment for surrounding communities. ”
These expenses, adds the CII, should “ be part of the CSR (corporate social responsibility) process to further encourage vaccination. ” Involving the private sector, believes the CII, “ would better meet the demands of a large, diverse country like India. ”
The CII estimates that private sector involvement will result in inoculation of “ an additional 10 crore of formal sector workers and local communities could have access to the vaccine. ”
Such a program could be a game-changer, say industry leaders. It would help “workers to be more productive, consumers to return to markets and restore the economy as a whole.” This would complement and converge with the government’s program without harming it in any way. ”
Although the government has decided to switch to vaccinating people over 50 in the coming weeks, there has been no clarity on the involvement of the private sector despite the fact that vaccines such as Serum Institute of India, made in Covishield, are not uncommon in India. .
The CII said India’s demographics are very different and that a public-private immunization model that is equitable and allows for parity of access – both to the priority minority and the exposed majority – would be a lot. more suited to the needs of the country.
In addition, India has exported or distributed Covishield free of charge to at least 24 countries as part of an extensive diplomatic outreach program. Although widely regarded as the ‘pharmacy of the world’ given its massive vaccine manufacturing capabilities, India has strictly regulated vaccine deployment in a government-run program, industry leaders say .
So far, 30 million citizens have been identified as priority beneficiaries of the two vaccines authorized for use in the country – Covaxin from Bharat Biotech and Covishield from Serum Institute, the national name for the AstraZeneca vaccine developed by the University of Oxford. The priority group includes three crores of health and municipal workers and 27 crores of citizens with co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension or other chronic conditions.
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