Kerala govt introduces `sponsor a jab' programme to use piled-up vaccine stock

A healthcare worker inoculates a dose of Covid-19 vaccine to a beneficiary during a free vaccination camp at Shahaji Raje Sport Complex in Mumbai, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. PTI

Kochi: The Kerala Government has come up with a new idea to collect money from the huge vaccine stock purchased using the money raised through `Vaccine Challenge'.

The aim of the programme `Sponsor a Jab' is to administer vaccines bought through Kerala Medical Services Corporation Limited (KMSCL), to the public free of cost, using sponsors.

The state government had bought 10 lakh doses of vaccines to make it available to private hospitals. Since vaccines were  available free of cost in the government hospitals, there were less takers for using this service at the private hospitals. So, the private hospitals, in general, showed reluctance to buy vaccines from the KMSCL. Since then, a huge chunk of the vaccine stock, bought by the government using huge funds, has been lying unwanted at the KMSC depots.

After suffering from this setback, the government has announced a new plan, `sponsor a jab' through the KMSCL website to lure sponsors for distributing vaccines among the public. 

Individuals, clubs, organisations, banks, offices, companies and shops can sponsor vaccines. The local bodies can also find sponsors. For a single jab, Rs.782, inclusive of GST, should be given to the KMSCL by sponsors. 

But the government is planning to give vaccines free of cost for those who are in the high priority category.    

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