Mumbai, June 7: Under fire for its COVID-19 vaccination strategy, the Centre today decided to procure and supply vaccines free to states for inoculating all adults. The new strategy, which is a complete U-turn on the current liberalised vaccination policy, will be implemented in two weeks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a televised address to the nation.
Until now, the Centre was procuring 50% of the COVID-19 vaccine stock in the country for vaccinating those aged 45 years or above and frontline and healthcare workers free of cost. States were procuring 25% of the stock for those aged 18-44 years, and the remaining 25% was being bought by private hospitals. The liberalised vaccination strategy, which expanded the vaccination drive to all adults, was implemented from May 1 and had led to severe vaccine shortage in many states.
He also announced that the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana would be continued till Diwali, and everyone eligible under the scheme would be provided with free vaccines.
While these announcements were being made, social media warriors were up in tweets as they watched the address. Right from memes to honest concerns, here is how Twitter reacted to the PM's address.
So far, 232.79 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in India, with 46.27 mln beneficiaries having received both doses and 186.51 mln having received one dose so far. The prime minister said that he was concerned about reports of rumours around COVID-19 vaccines coming from some parts of the country. He urged everyone to raise awareness about vaccines and quell vaccine hesitancy in the country.
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