Population, vaccine wastage, total cases criteria for Centre's free COVID jabs to states
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Centre on Tuesday announced its revised guidelines for the national COVID-19 vaccination programme and said that the vaccines will now be allocated to state governments and union territories based on criteria like population, disease burden and the progress of vaccination. The new guidelines also stated the Government of India will procure 75 per cent of the vaccines being produced by the manufacturers in the country. The Centre further warned that vaccine wastage will affect the COVID-19 vaccination allocation negatively.
"The government of India will procure 75 per cent 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 Centres," the notification said.
"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," the notification added.
According to the notification issued by the Centre, the revised guidelines will be implemented from June 21 and "will be reviewed from time to time".
Further, the Centre said that under the revised guidelines, it will provide States/UTs advance information of vaccine doses to be supplied to them. "States/UTs should similarly, further allocate doses well in advance to districts and vaccination centres. They should also put in the public domain the information about the above availability at district and vaccination centre level, and widely disseminate it among the local population, maximizing the visibility and convenience of citizens," it stated.
In order to incentivise production by vaccine manufacturers and encourage new vaccines, domestic vaccine manufacturers are given the option to also provide vaccines directly to private hospitals.
"This would be restricted to 25 per cent of their monthly production. States/UTs would aggregate the demand of private hospitals keeping in view equitable distribution between large and small private hospitals and regional balance. Based on this aggregated demand, the Government of India will facilitate the supply of these vaccines to the private hospitals and their payment through the National Health Authority's electronic platform. This would enable the smaller and remoter private hospitals to obtain timely supply of vaccines, and further equitable access and regional balance," the government noted.
According to new guidelines, the price of vaccine doses for private hospitals would be declared by each vaccine manufacturer, and any subsequent changes would be notified in advance. "The private hospitals may charge up to a maximum of Rupees 150 per dose as service charges. State Governments may monitor the price being so charged," it stated.
The government noted that all citizens irrespective of their income status are entitled to free vaccination, and those who have the ability to pay are encouraged to use private hospital's vaccination centres.
Under the revised guidelines, to promote the spirit of "Lok Kalyan", the use of non-transferable Electronic Vouchers which can be redeemed at private vaccination centres, will be encouraged, which would enable people to financially support vaccination of Economically Weaker Sections at private vaccination centres.
Posted By: Talibuddin Khan