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Private hospitals struggle to get vax from open market

It has been nearly a month since the Central Drug Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) gave market authorisation to Covishield and Covaxin and yet there is no clue about its availability and pricing in the state.

The subject expert committee of CDSCO had on January 26 upgraded the permission for Covaxin and Covishield from restricted use in emergency situations to normal new drug permission in the adult population with certain conditions. It was decided to make the vaccine available in hospitals and clinics for emergency use.

The upgrade meant that people could purchase the vaccine from hospitals and clinics of their choice and administer as per the advice of doctors. Its easy availability has created a ray of hope among the people who don’t want to rely upon the government-run facilities. It is mandatory to register it on the government-run CoWin portal though, and manufacturers also need to submit its safety data.

However, the vaccine is not in stock at pharmacies. “We have heard nothing from the government about the availability of both the vaccines at hospitals and clinics. We are aware of the official announcement made by the government but don’t know about modalities and its pricing,” said Dr Mona Desai, ex-president of Ahmedabad Medical Association.

“The announcement will benefit people who would like to opt for vaccines of their choice and get them administered by their preferred doctors rather than going to the government-run facilities and going through the process of registering before taking it. It is also good for people who don’t want to be amidst large crowds for a vaccine shot and are conscious about hygiene. But we don’t have any notification about the vaccines’ availability,” she said.

Dr Bharat Gadhvi, president of Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA) said, “We haven’t heard about the availability of the vaccine in the market and are awaiting a notification on how hospitals and clinics could acquire it. It is good for the permitted class of the people who wanted to get a booster dose and also for those who have yet to take the first or second dose.”

Health commissioner Shiv Prakash Shivhare was not available for comment on the issue. Ahmedabad Mirror

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