Let private hospitals give second dose to their healthcare workers free of cost: PMC to Centre

Across the state, a total of 50,666 beneficiaries over the age of 60 and 7,465 in the age group of 45-59 with co-morbidities have got the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The Pune Municipal Corporation has sent a proposal to the Centre, urging it to allow private hospitals to administer the remaining second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to their own healthcare workers free of cost. “We have not received a response so far… and so those who want it free of cost can take the jab from the government-run centres,” Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agarwal told The Indian Express.

The PMC has increased the number of vaccination centres to 31 on Wednesday and proposed to increase the number to 100 shortly. The process is being smoothly conducted, said Agarwal.

Private hospitals, which gave the first dose to their own healthcare and frontline staff for free, are upset because the civic health authorities, at a recent meeting, said that the second dose would have to be paid for or taken free of cost at government hospitals.

Bomi Bhote, chairman of the Association of Hospitals in Pune, said that it was unfair to just change policy decisions. “We are also checking what the situation is in Mumbai and other cities on this front,” Bhote said.

However, Agarwal said that it was decided by the central government that second dose of vaccinations have to be paid for. “On our part, after the meeting with private hospitals, we have sent a proposal where their own healthcare workers can get the second and final jab for free at their own facility. However, the Centre has to decide,” said Agarwal. She said whoever has finished the 28-day period after the first dose and wants the second dose can go to the government centre.

Meanwhile, Deenananath Mangeshkar Hospital has made the payment for purchasing the vaccine and starting paid vaccinations at their centre. “We have vaccinated nearly 200 beneficiaries in the priority age groups of 60 years and 45 years with co-morbidities on Wednesday,” said a hospital official.

Ruby Hall Clinic has also paid for the vaccine stock on Wednesday while KEM Hospital authorities have now made an official proposal to be part of the Covid vaccination centres.

Sudhir Mehta, president of MCCIA who also founded the voluntary group Pune platform for Covid response, said that after the Centre decided to allow vaccinations 24/7, they were hoping for an early response from the PMC so that people need not make a rush to the centres.

Till date, 4,087 above 60 inoculated in Pune district

Across the state, a total of 50,666 beneficiaries over the age of 60 and 7,465 in the age group of 45-59 with co-morbidities have got the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. According to data from the state Health department, a total of 4,087 beneficiaries above 60 and 166 in the age group of 45-59 years have been vaccinated in Pune district. Mumbai has the highest number, with 10,724 persons above 60 getting the shot, while 1,044 persons between the age group of 45-59 years have taken the jab. Thane district has vaccinated 2,689 persons above 60 and 397 persons between 45-59 years.

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