Assam to help private hospitals buy vaccines from reserved quota

The health department has decided to make arrangements to vaccinate 70,000 people per day from the current 50,000 people per day.

In a move to speed up the vaccination rate in the state, the Assam health department has decided to provide private hospitals with interest-free loans to buy vaccines directly from manufacturers under the 25 percent quota reserved for the private sector by the central government.

“We will provide interest-free loan for three months to private hospitals to procure the vaccines from the reserved quota. This way, more people would be covered by the vaccination net through the private hospital route,” state health minister Keshab Mahanta said, while addressing newsmen here on Friday afternoon.

The health department has also decided to make arrangements to vaccinate 70,000 people per day from the current 50,000 people per day.

“We are intensifying the vaccination process in the urban areas of six districts having relatively higher COVID cases. They are Kamrup Metro, Nagaon, Sonitpur, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Cachar districts,” Mahanta said.

The health minister also informed that in view of the shortage in the availability of Covaxin vaccines, the department has decided that “no first doses of Covaxin would henceforth be administered in the state.”

“Currently, there are about 20,000 Covaxin vaccines. But second doses of Covaxin would be arranged for 1.5 lakh people as the state is expected to get 50,000 additional Covaxin vaccines in a week’s time. However, we have 3.20lakh Covishield vaccines for all eligible age groups

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had on Thursday said that Assam would receive 19 lakh vaccines in June and between 30 to 35 lakh vaccines in July.

“The vaccination process in the state will be completed by December 31, 2021. People who do not have smart phones can go directly to the vaccination centre to get their jabs. We will provide vaccines in the doorstep as well from August,” Sarma said.

(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)

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