More than 69 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses administered on first day of revised vaccination programme: Union Health Ministry

According to the Union Health Ministry, 69.25 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered on the first day after Centre released revised guidelines for national COVID vaccination drive on June 21. Madhya Pradesh vaccinated 12 lakh beneficiaries, Karnataka 8.73 lakh, and Uttar Pradesh 5.84 lakh on day one.

As per the revised guidelines, the Centre will buy 75 per cent of doses from vaccine makers, including 25 per cent of the state quota, and give it for free to state governments and union territories. As the Prime Minister said in his June 7 address, no state government will have to spend on vaccine procurement.

This marks a change from the previous policy from May 1, when the Centre had asked states to procure 25% of the doses from the open market to vaccinate the 18-44 year age group. Before that (January 16 to April 30), the Centre had procured and allocated vaccine doses to the states for free vaccination of three priority groups — healthcare workers, frontline workers, and persons above the age of 45.

As per the new rules, 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 centres, the government has said.

As per the new guidelines, no pre-registration is required on CoWin and beneficiaries can get registered on spot at the vaccination centre and get their jab.

People of all ages will have to pay for vaccination at private centres. However, private centres can charge only Rs 150 as service charge over and above the price of the vaccine. The maximum price that can be charged by private centres is Rs 780 for Covishield, Rs 1,410 for Covaxin; and Rs 1,145 for Sputnik V. The total cost of vaccination will be displayed on the CoWIN portal at the time you book your slot.

The shift in the vaccination policy comes after the Supreme Court raised questions about it and several states sought centralised procurement of vaccines.

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Free Press Journal