From June 21, every Indian citizen will receive free vaccination at Centre and state government-run Centres.
The revised vaccination policy has brought hopes for many who are eyeing admissions at foreign universities, job offers and also for states that have faced difficulties in procuring vaccines and managing funds.
Changing the previous policy of making states procure 25 per cent of the doses through an open market to vaccinate the 18 to 44 age group but now states will have no role in procurement and the Centre will distribute vaccines to states for free who will inoculate its population
Here’s understanding the revised vaccination policy from a common man’s perspective.
Who all will be vaccinated for free?
From June 21, every Indian citizen will receive free vaccination at Centre and state government-run centres. Earlier the Centre provided free vaccination only to three priority groups, healthcare workers, frontline workers and people aged above 45 years. Else for the age group between 18 and 44 years, vaccines were free only at state-run centres.
As the Centre moved to a centralised procurement mechanism, the central government said that both state and central centres will administer vaccines to all free of cost.
How much will private vaccination centres charge?
Vaccination at private centres will not be free. They can charge Rs 150 as a service charge over and above the price of the vaccine. The maximum price that private centres can charge is Rs 1, 145 for Sputnik V, Rs 1,410 for Covaxin and Rs 780 for Covishield. The beneficiaries will know the total cost of vaccination including the service charge while booking the slot on Co-WIN app.
How many Covid-19 doses will be available free?
The Centre will directly procure three fourth of the doses that the vaccine makers manufacture to distribute among states and administer doses at Centre run centres. The private vaccine centers can procure the remaining 25 per cent of the vaccines and administer at capped prices. States will no longer have any involvement in vaccine procurement.
How vaccines will be distributed to states?
The number of doses allocated to a state will be based on three factors, population, the progress of vaccination and degree of spread of infection and also on the degree of wastage of vaccines. States with good vaccination coverage, more population and higher infection positivity rate will get higher allocation while with higher wastage will receive a lower number of vaccine vails.
Which group will be given priority for vaccination?
At Central government centres the healthcare and frontline workers will be given top priority. State-run centres also need to ensure vaccination of 45+ criteria is immunized completely at the earliest since this group account for 80 per cent of the Covid-19 deaths. The beneficiaries whose second dose is due is next in the priority chart says the revised guidelines.
For vaccinating the middle group i.e 18 to 44 years, states can chart out their own priority depending on the vaccine supply.
Status of availability of foreign vaccines in Indian market
Even with foregoing the approval mandate, no supply agreement has been finalized with Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines that are already ruling the Covid vaccine market in the US and European Union countries. The government currently is analysing the conditions necessary to establish a supply chain of these vaccines and anything about their availability will be announced after final agreements.
Does anything change for private hospitals?
Private centres can now support vaccination of economically weaker sections with the use of non-transferable electronic vouchers, approved by the apex banking body, RBI. The vouchers can be downloaded on one’s smartphone, scanned at the vaccination site and the amount will be credited to the beneficiary’s account. The process will also be captured on Cowin. The voucher can only be used by the person for whom it has been issued.
What if small private hospitals can’t procure vaccine doses
From June 21, the demand for vaccines made by private hospitals will be aggregated considering equitable distribution and regional balance. Depending on so the centre will take care of the supply to these private centres and their payment will be done through National Health Authority’s digital platform. This will help the small private centres based at remote locations to procure supply.
How section of the population who don’t have digital aid get vaccinated?
From June 21, all government and private vaccine centres will also start on-site registration apart from online registration at CoWIN. The states will overlook the detailed procure and let the Centres know in due course.