Covid-19 vaccination in India: The government on Tuesday released revised guidelines for Covid-19 vaccination in the country, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced free vaccination for all above 18 years.
According to the revised guidelines, the central government will procure 75 percent of Covid-19 vaccine doses from vaccine manufacturers, including the 25 percent state quota, and will provide it to states/UTs for free. PM Modi in his address to the nation yesterday had said no state government will have to spend on vaccine procurement.
But, the allocation of vaccine doses to states/UTs will be decided by taking into consideration of factors like population, caseload, and vaccine wastage. “Vaccine doses provided free of cost by the Government of India will be allocated to States/UTs based on criteria such as population, disease burden, and the progress of vaccination. Wastage of vaccine will affect the allocation negatively,” says the government notification as reported by The Indian Express.
Indian vaccine manufacturers will get the option to supply Covid-19 vaccine doses directly to private hospitals. The government has also capped service charges of private hospitals at Rs 150 for the Covid-19 vaccination. Centre in advance will notify states/UTs of how many doses will be supplied. It has asked states/UTs to allocate doses well in advance to districts/vaccination centres. “They should also put in the public domain the information about the above availability at district and vaccination center level,” the revised guidelines read.
According to the revised guidelines, the vaccination will be prioritised and will be administered to healthcare workers first, followed by frontline workers, citizens more than 45 years of age, citizens whose second dose is due, and then to those above 18 years of age.
As per the revised rules, all citizens, irrespective of their income status, are eligible for a free vaccination. Those who have the ability to pay are encouraged to use private hospital’s vaccination centres, the government has said.