Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that considering the demand from various states, the Centre will procure 75 per cent of COVID-19 vaccine doses from manufacturers.
States will not have to procure vaccines from the companies, and the Centre will supply the vaccine doses to states.
Addressing the nation, Modi said 25 per cent of vaccines will be available for private players, and private hospitals will not be able to charge more than Rs 150 per dose as service fee over the vaccine cost. The state governments will have to supervise this.
Under the phase-III of vaccination programme, Centre had allowed vaccine manufacturers to release up to 50 per cent of their supply to state governments and in the open market at a pre-declared price from May 1. It had also opened up vaccination for everyone above the age of 18 years.
The Prime Minister said the earlier decision was taken on demands from states to decentralise vaccine procurement. However, within a few weeks, many states said they were unable to procure vaccines and asked Centre to procure and distribute them.
"It has been decided that the Centre will take the responsibility for the 25 per cent vaccine-related work from states," Modi said. He said the new procurement scheme will be finalised within 2 weeks, with Centre and states making preparations as per the new guidelines.
From June 21, Centre will procure 75 per cent vaccines from manufacturers and provide it free of cost for everyone above the age of 18 years to states, he said.
Till now, Centre was paying for vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers and for people aged above 45 years. With the Centre's latest decision, states will not have to incur any cost for vaccinating citizens.
In her Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had provided Rs 35,000 crore for coronavirus vaccination in 2021-22 and said the government was committed to providing further support to eliminate COVID-19.
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