Ramped up capabilities will be deployed when vaccine is approved by health authorities
Apollo Hospitals has ramped up capabilities to be in a position to administer as many as one million COVID-19 vaccines daily once a vaccine is approved by the Indian health authorities.
Strengthening of the cold chain supply to ensure delivery and availability of the vaccine across its network, comprising hospitals, clinics, corporate health centres and pharmacies, and imparting training to 10,000 Apollo employees, who will be stationed at its centres across the country, are key components of the plan.
“It will be our privilege to work with all governments, governmental agencies and healthcare networks to ensure that a large number of people get the vaccine, quickly and safely, as it becomes available,” Shobana Kamineni, executive vice-chairperson of the Apollo Group of Hospitals told media on Thursday.
She expected a major role for private healthcare after the government completed the process of inoculation initially through the public healthcare network. About 30% of India is roughly 30 minutes away from an Apollo pharmacy, which can then guarantee safe and widespread reach of the vaccine, if required, she said.
Noting that clinical trials of a number of vaccine candidates were underway globally, Ms. Kamineni said Apollo Hospitals would follow government directions on which of the approved vaccines must be administered. Ideally, however, it should be the doctor’s choice, she added.
On the charges that Apollo Hospitals would be levying, she said that while the cost of the vaccine would be as per the government’s direction, the administering charges would be “insignificant”, comprising the cost of consumables and a service charge.
A release said Apollo has secured a cold chain to manage 300 million doses per annum. A senior executive said that while 6,000 nurses and 1,000 doctors had been trained in safe vaccination protocols, an additional 3,000 nurses will be completing training soon.
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