The government has issued a detailed guidelines for the COVID-19 vaccination programme. The new guidelines came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that free vaccine will be given to all above 18 years by the Centre. The new policy will come into effect from June 21.
The Centre said that vaccine doses would be allocated to states/UTs "based on population, disease burden & vaccination progress. Wastage will affect allocation negatively". The government said that it will provide states/UTs advance information of vaccine doses to be supplied to them to be likewise allocated by them to districts and vaccination centres. How to prioritise vaccinations with the given supply schedule has been left to the states and UTs.
The main elements of revised guidelines are:
- The government of India will procure 75% of the vaccines through manufacturers. The vaccines will then be provided free of cost across states and union territories through government vaccination centres on priority basis.
- This is how vaccination will be prioritised under the revised guidelines: Health care workers; Front line workers; Citizens above the age of 45; Citizens due for their second dose; Citizens aged 18 and above
- Within the population group of people aged 18 and above, states and union territories will get to decide how to prioritize vaccination and supply schedule.
- Vaccines will be allocated to the states by the Centre based on several factors like population, disease burden or number of cases, and progress of vaccination.
- GOI will well in advance provide information to states and UTs about the vaccines. The states and UTs will then allocate those vaccines to districts and vaccination centres. States and UTs are advised to put the information about vaccine availability in public domain.
- Domestic vaccine manufacturers can provide vaccines directly to private hospitals. This is permitted in order to incentivize production by vaccine manufactures and increase vaccine production.
- Price of vaccine for private hospitals will be declared by each vaccine manufacturer. Any subsequent changes will be notified in advance.
- All citizens irrespective of their economic status are entitled to get free vaccination Those who can pay, are encouraged to head towards private hospitals for vaccination.
The revised guidelines provide states and union territories with additional government support with funding, procurement and logisitics of the vaccination. It also provides flexibility at local and state level, while also harnessing the private sector capacity. These guidelines will come into effect from June 21, 2021.