No takers in private hospitals, Karnataka goes from negative figures to wasting 0.3% doses | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Private hospitals say they are struggling to exhaust the massive stock of Covid-19 vaccine doses they have in their possession and, as a result, a number of shots, especially Covishield, are being wasted. Private hospitals in Bengaluru have nearly two lakh doses of Covishield in stock, and hospital managements say there are few takers for these paid doses.
A private medical college in Bengaluru said they administer only about four or five doses of Covishield from a vial of 10 doses. The remaining doses go to waste since they must be used within a stipulated number of hours of opening a vial.
“We had 1,000 vials of which we have so far administered 645 doses,” said the hospital while admitting that vaccine wastage is a major cause of concern. “We have had to waste 62 doses of Covishield.” This, despite hospitals quietly providing booster doses for staff and their relatives.
College authorities say they are at their wits’ end and don’t know what to do. “Typically, two or three people come in the morning seeking Covishield. If we do not administer the doses, we don’t know if they will return. These vaccines will expire in February and must be exhausted. Once we open a vial, not more than five or six doses are administered. The rest go to waste,” college authorities said.
They also admitted booster doses are being provided for their staff based on requests.
“If we stop administering booster doses for those most vulnerable, wastage will only go up,” the hospital said.
For every dose lost, the hospital incurs a loss of Rs 630. One dose of Covishield in a private hospital costs Rs 780, including Rs 150 that goes towards administrative charges.
Stock redistributed
Another private hospital which faced a similar situation in early October, has now redistributed all its doses to sister concerns. Hospitals have been urging the government to buy their stock of vaccines which will go to waste if they are not utilised.
However, Dr Arundhathi Chandrashekar, mission director, National Health Mission, Karnataka, said the government’s hands are tied. “There is no provision for the government to buy these doses. Private hospitals have to judiciously use them,” she said.
Karnataka, one of the first states to record negative Covid-19 vaccine wastage, is now seeing 0.3% wastage. “While it is no longer negative wastage, the 0.3% wastage is still within permissible limits,” said Dr Arundhathi.
Dr KV Trilok Chandra, special commissioner, health, BBMP, said hospitals have a list of all those who are due for the second dose and suggested they contact these individuals and persuade them to take the shot to prevent wastage.
However, hospitals TOI spoke with said there is no demand for paid vaccination.
“In many cases, those who took the first dose in our hospital, have availed the second dose elsewhere, perhaps in government facilities,” said a hospital. “When we call them, these individuals say they are fully vaccinated.”
No walk-ins
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Dr Sharan Patil, chairman, Sparsh Hospital, said they have a stock of 50,000 doses of Covishield. “We try to ensure doses are not wasted as the vaccines are administered only based on prior appointments. We do not allow walkins. However, despite our efforts, a small quality of doses are wasted sometimes. This is nothing but a national waste,” he said.
At Apollo Speciality Hospitals, Jayanagar, which has a huge quantity of vaccines, no vial is opened post lunch unless there are 10 vaccine seekers, said Dr Yateesh Govindaiah, unit head. He said if there are an insufficient number of people, the hospital takes contact details of those who walk in and ask them to come back the next day. Follow up calls are also made the next day.
Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA) had earlier broached the matter with brass of the state’s health and family welfare department. “We can only issue an advisory to hospitals to make sure that they don’t waste doses,” said Dr HM Prasanna, president, PHANA.





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Sagar Biswas

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