New Delhi: In a move that is set to bolster the COVID-19 vaccination drive, the Tamil Nadu government on Friday (July 23) said it plans to commence its free vaccination drive at private health care facilities soon. The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Minister for medical and family welfare Ma Subramanian with hospitals and corporates of Chennai and neighbouring districts.
As per PTI report, the funds for the free vaccines will come from corporates under the CSR initiative. Those hospitals providing vaccines free of cost would place a board in front of their facility to inform the public of the initiative and enable them to receive the coronavirus jabs, Subramanian said.
Talking to reporters, the state minister said, “We held discussions with hospitals and corporates from districts like Kancheepuram, Vellore, Tiruvallur and Ranipet. As many as 137 hospital administration took part. The initiative is to ensure that even the poor and downtrodden, as per the advise by Chief Minister M K Stalin, receive the jabs in private healthcare facilities free of charge.”
Further, he informed that in a similar meeting conducted last week in Coimbatore, Rs 61 lakh was received from corporates under CSR for the free vaccination drive to be held in that region.
“We received Rs 2 crore today (from corporates during the meeting)…As and when we receive the funds, the details will be uploaded online,” he added.
In addition, Subramanian clarified that the current practice of private hospitals providing vaccines at a capped price would continue, along with the free vaccination drive. “Not all hospitals are covered in the campaign. Those which have tied-up with the corporates will be offering the vaccines free of cost. The other hospitals which have not partnered with companies will offer the service as per the existing practice,” the news agency quoted him as saying.
As per Union Health Ministry data on Friday, more than 43.87 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states and UTs so far through all sources and a further 71,40,000 doses will be provided.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar, in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha from Congress member Rahul Gandhi and TMC’s Mala Roy, informed Parliament on Friday that a total of 135 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are expected to be available between August and December. He added that albeit no fixed timeline can be indicated for the completion of the vaccination drive, it is expected that all beneficiaries aged 18 years and above will be inoculated by December.
(With agency inputs)