After states facing problems in procurement of covid19 vaccines, the Government of India has released revised guidelines for the National Covid vaccination programme which will be implemented from June 21. According to guidelines the Centre will procure 75 percent of the vaccines being produced by the manufacturers in the country.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a centralized procurement system for Covid 19 vaccines which will begin from June 21. Under this system, free vaccinations will be administered to everyone above the age of 18.
“The government of India will procure 75 percent of the vaccines being produced by the manufacturers in the country. The vaccines procured will continue to be provided free of cost to States/UTs as has been the case from the commencement of the National Vaccination Programme. These doses will be administered by the States/UTs free of cost to all citizens as per priority through Government Vaccination Centers,” said the guidelines.
The rest 25 percent of the procurement is being made available for the private sector. PM Modi had announced a cap of Rs 150 on the amount private hospitals can charge over the cost of the purchase of the vaccine from the manufacturer.
For free vaccine doses, the GoI has prioritized categories as - Health Care Workers, Front line Workers, Citizens above 45 years of age, citizens whose second dose has become due and the citizens of 18 years and above.
Warning states and UTs about the wastage of vaccines, the guidelines said, “ Wastage of vaccine will affect the allocation negatively.” The criteria for the allocation of Vaccine doses provided free of cost by the government of India will be population, disease burden and the progress of vaccination.
Further directing the states about the allocation, the guidelines said that government will inform in advance about the vaccine doses to be supplied to them. Similarly, the states have to allocate doses to districts and vaccination centers in advance. The information should be put in the public domain to maximize the visibility of vaccine availability for citizens’ convenience.
“All citizens irrespective of their income status are entitled to free vaccination. Those who have the ability to pay are encouraged to use private hospital’s vaccination centers.”
Further, the guidelines suggested that citizens should use the CoWIN platform for pre-booking of vaccination slots as it is safe. “All the government and private vaccination centers would also provide an onsite registration facility, available both for individuals as well as groups of individuals.”
“States may also optimally utilize the Common Service Centers and Call Centres to facilitate prior booking by citizens.”