Karnataka in dark over financial burden of Covid jab

Express News Service

BENGALURU: With just some days left for the vaccine rollout in the nation, the state authorities continues to be awaiting readability on the financial burden. Like many states, Karnataka too shouldn’t be certain as to what expense method might be adopted for mass vaccination. Though states will obtain the primary spherical of vaccines via Government Medical Store Depots (GMSDs) totally free, consultants imagine that there’s nonetheless a scarcity of readability on the opposite phases.

States want to organize for the following plan of motion and have to see if they may have the capability to deal with the complete programme on their very own particularly at a time when they’re cash-strapped, say consultants. “It would be good to have clarity to ensure a smooth rollout of the vaccination programme. And also for planning, especially at the state level – as the cost is not insignificant,” stated Bioethics researcher Dr Anant Bhan.

However, sources from the state well being ministry claimed that the Centre could roll out the vaccines for all three phases totally free. “Though Karnataka is cash-strapped and has been seeking more financial assistance from the Centre to tide over the losses due to the pandemic and the lockdown, it can still manage the vaccination situation,” stated a well being official.

But a senior member from the state job drive committee stated that the Centre will come out with a coverage on who pays and who won’t. “All these engaged in the pandemic, healthcare and frontline staff will get it totally free. The relaxation, on the subject of these above 50-55 years of age, we don’t know whether or not they must be given it totally free or must be charged.

We count on to get readability on this quickly,” the official stated. While the primary section of the vaccine shouldn’t be going to be a headache for the states, it must be seen whether or not the federal government bears the fiscal burden or transfers it to personal gamers, which implies individuals pay from their pockets to get vaccinated. According to well being ministry sources, the Centre has suggested state governments to discover utilizing financial institution ensures to finance the price of shopping for vaccines.

Interestingly, in a current report, FICCI-E&Y advised {that a} huge supply of funding might come from India Inc. “Some corporates have come out with suggestions pertaining to the vaccination. Companies want the government to allow them to use corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds to vaccinate their employees,” a senior official stated. However, the Centre is but to reply to this suggestion.

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