Healthcare federations join hands to support Phase 3 of National COVID Vaccination Strategy

Senior healthcare leaders from the private sector spanning all major healthcare federations - CII, FICCI, AHPI, IMA, PHD Chamber of Commerce, ASSOCHAM, Indian Chamber of Commerce, AMC, ANEI, AHEI, FHA Karnataka, and NATHEALTH - participated in the meeting.

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New Delhi: In a crucial meeting on 22nd April, healthcare and industry federations representing the ecosystem of the private sector deliberated on a set of immediate recommendations for submission to the Government for effectively executing the liberalized and accelerated Phase 3 National Vaccination Strategy from May 1, 2021.
Senior healthcare leaders from the private sector spanning all major healthcare federations – CII, FICCI, AHPI, IMA, PHD Chamber of Commerce, ASSOCHAM, Indian Chamber of Commerce, AMC, ANEI, AHEI, FHA Karnataka, and NATHEALTH – participated in the meeting.
The recommendations from federations are aligned with the main elements of the Phase 3 strategy –procurement and administration of vaccines being made flexible – all stakeholders being given the freedom to customize to local needs and dynamics; incentivizing manufacturers to scale-up production and invite new national and international players, and manufacturers empowered to release vaccines in the open market at a pre-declared price and state-authorized to purchase from private players.
Some of the key recommendations in this meeting:
  • Lauding the Government for the Phase 3 National Vaccination Strategy, as it can enable the industry to come together, the Federations recommend that the private sector in India will pool their demand for effective flexible procurement to ensure high quality and uninterrupted access to lifesaving vaccines. The private sector can assess emerging requirements from healthcare, telecom, retail, information technology, consumer, and other industry segments through rapid assessment. It will also explore PPP’s to share the national responsibility with central and state governments.
  • The private sector will work collaboratively to tide over supply-side challenges and join hands with Government to scale up last-mile delivery of vaccines, pandemic surveillance, and hospitalization care.
  • The private sector will prioritize the rapid clinical trials for other critical, life-saving drugs, inhalers, and therapies that are showing promising results for use in the treatment of COVID-19, apart from vaccines.
  • As an immediate short-term measure, as the private healthcare sector reorganizes its supply chains, there is an urgent need for Central and State governments to ensure continuity of supplies for the next 30-60 days, especially for existing eligible populations and those eligible for second vaccination. The Government is also requested to ensure that there is consistency in vaccine administration guidelines across states through standard operating guidelines for engagement with the private sector.  In this process, industry will be ready to engage immediately in right earnest.
Dr. Harsh Mahajan, President NATHEALTH, commented, “As the country is grappling with a sudden surge of COVID cases and different parts of the country facing various challenges related to healthcare infrastructure, ramping up vaccination drive-by involving Indian and global organizations will prove to be beneficial in the long run and will reduce the burden on the healthcare ecosystem that India is facing amidst these tough times. Cross-country collaborations between federations and Government will enable India to deal with the current challenges and help in building a robust healthcare ecosystem.”
Dr Mahajan added further: “The industry welcomes the liberalized Phase 3 National Vaccination Strategy of the Government as it provides flexibility and an opportunity for State Governments, private sector organizations, hospitals, and other sectors to purchase it from the open market and ramp up vaccine administration. It will also enable private providers to involve their logistics network and supply chains to speed up transport channels and improve access in the remotest parts of India. We can utilize the infrastructure built by the private sector in the first wave of the pandemic.”