More than 80 lakh vaccine doses were administered across the country till Monday evening on the first day of the revised guidelines for Covid-19 vaccination coming into effect, the Union Health Ministry said.
It is the highest number of doses administered in a day since the vaccination drive started on 16 January. India’s cumulative Covid-19 vaccination coverage is now nearly 28.7 crore.
“Central Government is beginning the ‘Free Vaccination For All campaign’ for every Indian from today. The biggest beneficiary of this phase of India’s vaccination drive shall be the poor, the middle class and the youth of the country. All of us should pledge to get ourselves vaccinated. Together we will defeat Covid-19,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
According to the revised guidelines, vaccine doses provided free of cost by the Centre will be allocated to states and UTs based on criteria such as population, disease burden and the progress of vaccination, and all above the age of 18 will be eligible for the free jabs. Any wastage of vaccine will affect the allocation negatively, they said.
The Centre will now procure 75 percent of the vaccines being produced by the manufacturers in the country.
The biggest beneficiary of this phase of India’s vaccination drive shall be the poor, the middle class and the youth of the country, he said in a message posted on Twitter.
“Today’s record-breaking vaccination numbers are gladdening. Vaccine remains our strongest weapon to fight Covid-19. Well done India,”he tweeted.
Today’s record-breaking vaccination numbers are gladdening. The vaccine remains our strongest weapon to fight COVID-19. Congratulations to those who got vaccinated and kudos to all the front-line warriors working hard to ensure so many citizens got the vaccine.
Well done India!
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 21, 2021
It had earlier allowed states and private hospitals to procure 50 percent of the vaccines following demands for decentralisation of the process. However, after several states complained of problems including funding, PM Modi announced the revision of the vaccine guidelines on 8 June.
In order to incentivise 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 percent of their monthly production, the new guidelines stated.
The private hospitals may charge up to a maximum of Rs150 per dose as service charges. State Governments may monitor the price being so charged, the guidelines said.
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 guidelines said.
“To promote the spirit of ‘Lok Kalyan’ (public good), use of non-transferable Electronic Vouchers, which can be redeemed at private vaccination centers, will be encouraged.
“This would enable people to financially support vaccination of EWS category at private centres,” the revised guidelines said.
“Today’s record-breaking vaccination numbers are gladdening. Vaccine remains our strongest weapon to fight Covid-19. Well done India.”