Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced that in the next two weeks the union government will take over the existing vaccination drive, which was partly being carried out by the states since 1 May. The prime minister said that his government would provide free vaccines to all above the age of 18 years at government facilities from 21 June.
Till the new guidelines take effect from 21 June, both the union and the states will work together on the vaccination drive. Here are the highlights of the new vaccination policy announced by Prime Minister Modi in his address to the nation:
- All above 18 years of age in the country to get free vaccination at government facilities from 21 June
- The union government to buy 75% of jabs from vaccine makers, including 25% of the state quota, and give it for free to state governments
- States will now have to spend no money on vaccines
- Private sector hospitals will continue to procure 25% of vaccines directly from manufacturers
- A service charge of private hospitals to be capped at Rs 150 per dose over the fixed price of the vaccine
The prime minister made the following key observations:
- India is witnessing the second wave of Covid-19 and we are still fighting.
- This is the biggest epidemic in the last hundred years, it is a tragedy. The modern world had neither seen nor experienced such an epidemic. Our country has fought together on many fronts with such a big global pandemic.
- During the second wave, the demand for medical oxygen in India increased unimaginably in April and May. Never in India’s history the need for medical oxygen been felt in such quantity.
- To meet this need, work was done on a war footing. All government machinery was engaged.
- Compared to the demand for vaccines all over the world today, the countries producing it and the companies making the vaccine are less.
- Imagine if we did not have a vaccine that was made in India, what would have happened today in a huge country like ours?
- If you look at the last 50-60 years of India, it used to take decades to get the vaccines that are developed abroad. We could not start vaccination in India even though the vaccine work has been completed abroad.
- India launched not one but two ‘Made in India’ vaccines within a year. Our scientists have shown that India is not lagging behind big countries. More than 23 crore vaccine doses have been administered in India.
- Due to the continuous efforts and hard work that the country has been doing, the supply of vaccine is going to increase in the coming days.
- Today seven companies in the country are producing different types of vaccines. The trial of three more vaccines is in an advanced stage.