In order to inoculate Indian population, which in numbers exceed 1.3 billion, a new policy has been designed by the Indian government that will come into effect on June 21. With states finding it difficult to procure vaccines, the central government has taken reins in its hands to procure and manage funding of these Covid-19 vaccines. Under the new policy, the 75 per cent of the procured vaccines by the central government will directly go to states to be administered free whereas the remaining 25 per cent will be accessed by private hospitals.
Covid-19 new vaccination policy
- All citizens above the age of 18 years will be vaccinated free of cost at state and central government facilities. The free vaccination slab was earlier kept for priority groups including those above 45 years of age and healthcare workers.
- Vaccines are not free at private hospitals.
- At private hospitals, the cost for Covishield has been kept at Rs 750, Covaxin at Rs 1,410 and for Sputnik V- Rs 1,145. It is to note that the cost is inclusive of Rs 150 service charge.
- In cases where people are not able to register for vaccines at the CoWIN portal, they can register with an onsite registration facility with government and private hospitals.
- States will receive vaccines as per their population, transmission burden, progress and wastage of vaccination.
- The government will prioritise vaccination of healthcare/ frontline workers along with those above the age of 45 years, who are due to second dose. All states can decide the priority on their own.
- For foreign vaccines by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, no particular arrangement has been finalised yet.
- In order to support economically weaker sections, RBI approved non-transferable electronic vouchers will be given that will support people to get vaccination at private hospitals. This can be downloaded on mobiles for vaccination facilities to scan.
Meanwhile, the Centre had earlier asked states to procure 25 per cent of Covid-19 vaccination doses from the open market that can be used to vaccinate people belonging to the 18-44 year age group.