The Centre has flagged COVID vaccination packages extended by private hospitals to hotels, and instructed states and Union territories to take legal or administrative action against those flouting the COVID-19 inoculation guidelines.
The Union Health Ministry raised the issue in a letter to states and UTs on Saturday, and asked concerned governments to ensure that guidelines of the National COVID Vaccination Programme are adhered to.
The ministry said that it has been found that several hospitals are tying up with hotels to provide COVID vaccination package to guests, which is a clear violation of government guidelines.
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The letter said that the vaccination programme cannot be conducted in venues other than select government and private COVID vaccination centres, workplaces, COVID vaccination centres for the elderly and differently-abled at group housing societies, RWA offices, community centres, panchayat bhawans, school and colleges and old age centres on a temporary basis.
“Necessary legal and administrative actions should be initiated against such institutions. Therefore, you are also requested to monitor and ensure that National COVID Vaccination drive is carried out as per the prescribed guidelines,” the letter said.
Reports say COVID vaccination packages offered by several multi-starred hotels apart from providing guests a pleasant stay, choicest of grub and free wifi, also come with options of “vaccination by experts from renowned hospitals and clinical consultation on request”.
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According to central government data, 21 crore people have been inoculated against COVID-19 since the vaccination drive kicked off in January this year.
The government plans to cover 108 crore people by December.