Amid health officials across the country gearing up to enforce the Centre’s new Covid vaccination guidelines, which will come into effect from June 21, the Indian government on Tuesday said it has ordered 44 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin.
According to the Union health ministry, these doses are expected to be delivered between August and December 2021.
These developments come just a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a new vaccination policy stating that the Centre will procure 75 per cent of Covid vaccines and give it to states free of cost while private hospitals will be allowed to procure the remaining 25 per cent and charge no more than Rs 150 per dose.
The Centre on Tuesday also issued its ‘Revised Guidelines for implementation of National COVID Vaccination Program’ which mentions a slew of other changes as well that will come into force from June 21.
“In immediate follow-up of the prime minister’s announcement of these changes in the Guidelines of National COVID Vaccination programme yesterday, the Centre has placed an order with Serum Institute of India for 25 crore doses of Covishield and with Bharat Biotech for 19 crore doses of Covaxin.
“Additionally, 30 per cent of the advance for procurement of both the Covid-19 vaccines has been released to Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech,” an official said.
The official said the Centre has been supporting the efforts of states and union territories for an effective vaccination drive under the “whole of government approach” since January 16 this year.
“Now with the aim to further universalise the countrywide vaccination drive, all citizens above 18 years of age can receive the Covid-19 vaccine doses free of cost at government health facilities,” the official said.
Based on various representations received by the Centre, the vaccination for all adults above 18 years of age was opened in the Phase III of vaccination strategy beginning May 1.
(With PTI inputs)
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