Less than a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced changes to India's COVID-19 vaccination policies, the Centre has now released guidelines for the same. From June 21, the Centre will provide free jabs to states for the inoculation of all above the age of 18. The Prime Minister had also assured that vaccine supply would increase significantly in the coming days.
Based on the revised guidelines, the Centre will now procure 75% of the vaccines that are being produced by the manufacturers. These will be provided free of cost to the states and union territories and will be administered for free through Government Vaccination Centres. Allocation will be determined by several factors including population, disease burden vaccination' progress. "Wastage will affect allocation negatively," the guidelines warn.
"In order to incentivize 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% of their monthly production," the guidelines add.
The price of vaccine doses for private hospitals will have to be declared by each vaccine manufacturer. The private hospitals may charge up to a maximum of Rs. 150 per dose as service charges. State Governments may monitor the price being so charged. For the population group above the age of 18, states and UTs may decide on their own prioritization, factoring in vaccine supply schedule.
States and UTs will now aggregate the demand of private hospitals, based on which the Centre will facilitate supply and their payment through the National Health Authority's electronic platform.
The revised guidelines will come into effect from June 21. According to the Centre's notification, it will then be reviewed from time to time.