Covid vaccine for all above 18 from May 1

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 20, 2021

Firms can sell to States or in open market at prices that are pre-set

From May 1, all those above 18 will be eligible to get a Covid-19 vaccine with the Centre on Monday announcing a more-liberalised inoculation strategy that allows States and others to buy directly from manufacturers in addition to what the government distributes.

According to the decision taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, vaccine-makers will be mandated to supply 50 per cent of their production to the Centre, while the rest can be sold to the States or in the open market at pre-determined prices.

Announcing this, Modi said the government has been working for over a year to ensure that maximum number of people get the vaccine in the shortest possible time. India is vaccinating people at a record pace and will step up the momentum, he said.

The manufacturers will have to publicise the prices at which they would sell the vaccine to the States and in the open market before May 1, an official statement said.


Pre-determined prices

Based on this price, State governments, private hospitals, industrial establishments and others would be able to procure vaccine doses from the manufacturers. Private vaccination providers will also have to declare their prices in advance. The eligibility through this channel would be opened up to all adults, that is, everyone above the age of 18.

Simultaneously, the current vaccination drive for those belonging to priority groups such as healthcare/frontline workers and people above 45 years of age would continue at Central government-run vaccination centres free of cost.

All inoculation, whether through the government channel or otherwise, have to be part of the national vaccination programme and will need to be captured on the Co-WIN platform. Besides, all those providing vaccination will have to report any adverse event and follow other prescribed norms. Stocks and price per vaccination applicable in all centres will also have to be reported on a real time basis, the statement said.

While vaccine manufacturers in the country have to equally distribute to the Centre and others, imported vaccines can be used entirely outside the Central quota.

From its share, the Central government will allocate vaccines to States and Union Territories on the basis of severity of the Covid situation as well as each’s performance in carrying out vaccinations. Vaccine wastage will also be considered while deciding the State-wise quota, the statement said.

The government will also ensure that second dose for all existing priority groups is administered whenever due and this would be given priority.

Meeting with doctors

In yet another virtual meeting, Modi interacted with medical doctors across the country and lauded the services provided by them and paramedical staff. Stating that the vaccination is the most potent weapon in the fight against Covid-19, he urged the doctors to encourage more and more people to be vaccinated.

With the second wave spreading rapidly in Tier 2/3 cities, Modi called for accelerated effort to upgrade resources in these places. He also urged doctors to connect with their counterparts in these centres to ensure that all protocols are followed.

Published on April 19, 2021

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