Apollo Hospitals Group said it had managed to procure some Covid vaccine doses from manufacturers to start the vaccination campaign from May 1.
Apollo Hospitals will start coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccinations for people aged 18-44 from Saturday, the group’s executive vice-chairperson, Shobana Kamineni, said, pointing that the group had managed to procure some vaccines directly from the manufacturers.
“Yes, we did manage to get some doses,” said Kamineni.
The group, however, hasn’t identified which of its 70 hospitals across 24 cities will start the vaccination from Saturday.
A statement by the Apollo Hospitals Group pointed to government guidelines that require the vaccines to be administered to eligible individuals who have registered on the CoWIN app and have made an appointment for the vaccine jab at Apollo Hospitals.
“Whichever portal opens by tomorrow (May 1). Not all states have updated the portals,” she said on whether all Apollo centres will offer vaccination for people in the 18-44 age group from May 1.
“The vaccination programme will begin with limited quantities and be ramped up in the weeks ahead. Apollo hospitals will be organizing special camps for corporates. The vaccines would be priced as per the guidelines issued by the central government,” the statement read.
Serum Institute of India (SII), which manufactures Covishield, had earlier announced that a single dose of its vaccine for private hospitals and institutions would cost ₹600. Bharat Biotech, which produces Covaxin, has set the cost of a single dose at ₹1,200 for private hospitals and institutions.
According to reports, Max Healthcare will also open up vaccination for people in the 18-44 age group. There is, however, no formal statement from the group yet.
On April 19, the central government announced that it will open up Covid-19 vaccination for everyone 18 years and above from May 1 as part of a liberalised and accelerated phase 3 strategy of Covid-19 vaccination in the country. The decision was taken in a high-level meeting chaired by Prime minister Narendra Modi.
Currently, high risk people above 45 years are being given the vaccine for free under the national Covid-19 immunisation programme of the central government. The Centre’s guidelines say that from May 1, the Centre will procure 50% of the country’s vaccine supplies, and the remaining will be up for sale for the state governments and private hospitals and institutions.