Private Hospitals Can't Offer Vaccine Packages With Hotels: Centre To States

Over 21 crore doses have been administered so far since the nationwide inoculation drive began early this year.

Over 20 crore doses of Covid vaccine have been administered so far. (File photo)

Highlights

  • Necessary actions should be initiated against such institutions: Centre
  • Centre asked states to ensure that the guidelines are followed
  • Over 20 crore doses of Covid vaccine have been administered so far
New Delhi:

Some private hospitals are giving package for Covid vaccination in collaboration with luxury hotels in violation of the guidelines and legal action needs to be initiated against them, the centre said on Saturday.

In a letter to the states and union territories, the Health Ministry has directed officials to monitor and ensure that the guidelines are followed while carrying out the National Covid Vaccination drive.

Under the guidelines, vaccination can be carried out at "government and private Covid vaccination centres, workplaces, near to home covid vaccination centre for elderly and differently-abled persons to be organised at group housing societies, RWA offices, community centres, panchayat bhawans, school and colleges, old age homes etc on a temporary basis.".

"Necessary legal and administrative actions should be initiated against such institutions. Therefore, you are also requested to monitor and ensure that National Covid Vaccination drive is carried out as per the prescribed guidelines," a government statement read.

Covid vaccination packages by luxury hotels - which include a comfortable stay, healthy breakfast, dinner and wifi, along with "vaccination by experts from a renowned hospital and clinical consultation on request" - have drawn criticism on social media.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday, while pointing out that acute vaccine shortage that has forced the state government to suspend the inoculation programme for the 18-44 years age group, asked the central government about "how private hospitals were getting the doses if centre does not have enough stocks for states".

"The Delhi government wants to vaccinate all its youth free of cost. If there are no vaccines for this purpose, how are vaccines available at private hospitals," Mr Sisodia asked, underlining that such facilities were charging around Rs 1,000 per jab.

Over 21 crore doses have been administered so far since the world's biggest vaccination drive began in India early this year.

The government aims to vaccinate the entire country by the end of this year.

"The Health Ministry has given a blueprint. 108 crore people - with 216 crore doses - will be vaccinated by December," Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Friday.