Centre is reportedly planning to rope in the private sector in order to speed up the vaccination process as coronavirus has started increasing in several states.
The government might engage private firms and institutions to vaccinate the 50-plus age group to cover a much larger target population of 27 crore individuals. It will also include below-50 age group with serious co-morbidities, Times of India reported.
Recently, Wipro founder-chairman Azim Premji also suggested to the Centre to allow private sector participation in order to speed up the vaccination process against coronavirus. He said with the involvement of the private firms and institutions in the COVID-19 vaccination drive, over 50 crore people can be inoculated within two months (60 days).
Niti Aayog member health Dr VK Paul also stated that in the next phase of vaccination, private sector participation would be on a large scale.
Paul added that the private sector is also involved in giving COVID-19 jabs to people but the scale of intensity is quite low. For instance, out of 10,000 vaccination sessions on a day, 2,000 are being conducted by private partners, Paul highlighted. "As we move to a much speedier programme, the involvement of the private sector will become much deeper and wide," he added.
The Centre is eyeing up to 50,000 sessions each day. So far 67 per cent of registered health care workers (HCWs) and 40 per cent of frontline workers (FLWs) have been inoculated with the first dose of coronavirus vaccines.
A total of 1,14,24,094 vaccine doses have been administered to 75,40,602 healthcare workers and 38,83,492 frontline workers through 2,44,071 sessions in India, as per the provisional report till 6 pm on Monday.
Four states and UTs -- Lakshadweep, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan -- have vaccinated more than 75 per cent of registered HCWs and FLWs for the first dose. On the other hand, four states and UTs have reported less than 50 per cent coverage of registered HCWs for the first dose. These are Nagaland, Punjab, Chandigarh and Puducherry.
A total of 46 persons have been hospitalised so far. This comprises 0.0004 per cent of the total vaccinations. Of these 46 cases, 26 were discharged after treatment, while 19 died and one is undergoing treatment, according to the union health ministry. No new event of hospitalisation has been reported in the last 24 hours, it added.