Today at 5PM , in an address to nation, the Prime minister of india announced that starting June 21st, 2020 center will provide vaccines to States for free vaccination among 18-44 age group along with its earlier plan of providing free vaccines to everyone above age 45+ that is continued since 16th January 2021.
In regards to India’s vaccination policy, earlier many states demanded a more decentralised vaccination policy, giving more power to other states to procure and vaccinate people.
The central Govt. in late April announced a Libralised and accelerated phase 3 of its vaccination programme.
State Govt., private Hospitals and industrial establishments were allowed to procure from 50% of available vaccines and innoculate people in 18+ age group from 1st May 2021 by placing order with manufacturers directly. 50% of the remaining Vaccines was procured by Centre for its 45+ year group vaccination programme that was launched with phase 1 starting 16th January 2021 and continued with Phase 2nd from 1st March 2021.
But here’s what happened next-
States like Delhi failed to place orders with Vaccine manufacturers, frame a plan for vaccinating it’s 18+ age group, and some started demanding free vaccination for all, not willing to utilise the state coffers. Some were even laughed at by foreign Vaccines manufacturers like Pfizer, moderna etc. Barat Biotech turned down Delhi Govt. Order dated 7th May 2021 saying they have prior commitments with other indian states, you’re late (well they were).
DelhiCM, Kejriwal, on many occasions vouched for pfizer Vaccines which can very well cost ₹1500 per dose against ₹150-₹400 India pays for indigenous vaccines, though reasons are still unknown.
In today’s address PM Narendra Modi Pointed out the followings-
- During second wave of covid19 the demand for Medical oxygen surged unimaginably in April and May. Work was done on war footing to meet this need. All govt. bodies were involved in this.
On Vaccines and India’s covid19 vaccination policy The PM said-
- There is very less no of Vaccine manufacturers in world compared to its demand. Imagine what would have happened in a large country like India if we didn’t have Vaccines.
- If you look at the history of last 50-60 years, you’ll find that it used to take decades for India to get vaccine from foreign countries well past after the vaccination was done in foreign countries.
- In last one year, India launched two made in India Vaccines. Today more than 23 crore Vaccines doses have been administered.
- From June 21st, all Vaccines will be procured by govt. And given to states for free under a centralised Vaccine drive.
- Although the govt. will provide free Vaccines to all people, those who want to pay for vaccines can do so at private hospitals and get inoculated.
- Pvt. Hospitals can utilised 25% of the total vaccines available with manufacturers and can charge no more than 150₹ over MRP as service charge.
He also pointed out that centre changed Vaccination policy in late April on states’ demand and continuous pressure by media in the first place.
States also realised how difficult the procedure of Vaccine procurement is.
“Currently seven companies are working on developing Vaccines and three trials are underway. And our hard working scientists are researching on nasal Vaccines. Trails on Vaccines for children have also started” he further said.
This comes after The honorable SC also pressed for a universal Free Vaccines for all policy very recently.