TN to explore CSR funding for free COVID-19 vaccines through private hospitals, says Minister

Health Minister Ma. Subramanian said the rationale behind exploring the possibility was that private hospitals were not using the vaccines allotted to them fully

The Tamil Nadu government will explore possibilities of offering free vaccines to the public through private hospitals using corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds from private firms, Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ma. Subramanian said in Coimbatore on Tuesday.

The Minister planned to hold a meeting with representatives of private hospitals that are empanelled under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme, as well as with various companies and institutions in Coimbatore.

According to the Minister, the rationale behind exploring the possibility was that private hospitals were not using the vaccines allotted to them fully. “While 75 % vaccines manufactured in the country are procured by the Union Government, 25% of vaccines are [earmarked] for private hospitals. However, private hospitals are not using their total allotment fully. Funds from private firms and institutions were used for buying equipment and improving facilities in hospitals when the State was reeling under COVID-19. With the COVID-19 situation eased, the government is exploring possibilities of using CSR funds for free vaccinations through private hospitals," said Mr. Subramanian at Walayar on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border, after inspecting the interstate check post along with Minister for Food and Civil Supplies R. Sakkarapani.

If the plan works out, Tamil Nadu would be the first State to implement the initiative in the country, he said.

The State needs 12 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines to administer two doses for its six crore population aged above 18 years. It received 1.86 crore doses of vaccines from the Union Government. Of these, 1.82 crore doses were administered. The State would need another 10 crore vaccines to complete the targeted population, he said.

Responding to allegations that DMK cadre were interfering in vaccination drives, Mr. Subramanian said the government would not allow such happenings.

Mr. Subramanian, along with Mr. Sakkarapani, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishanan and District Collector G.S. Sameeran, visited houses at Pazhayatheru in Mavuthampathi village near Walayar to check control measures against mosquito breeding in view of Zika virus cases reported in Kerala.

The Ministers advised residents to not allow clogging of water, which leads to mosquito breeding.

Earlier, the two Ministers and officials inspected a vaccination drive held for persons with disabilities and their dependents at Chinniyampalayam.

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