Centre issues revised guidelines for vaccination; calls for reduction of wastage

The government has issued 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 of age by the Centre. The new policy will come into effect from June 21.

“Government of India will procure 75% of the vaccines being produced by the manufacturers in the county. The vaccines procured will continue to be provided free of cost states/UTs as has been the case from the commencement of the National Vaccination Programme,” the guidelines said.

The Centre will allocate vaccine doses to state/UTs based on criteria such as population, disease burden and the progress of vaccination. Wastage of vaccine will affect the allocation to states/UTs negatively, it said.

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.

However, it is stressed that vaccination will be prioritized to Health Care Workers, Front Line Workers, citizens more than 45 years of age, citizens whose second dose has become due and citizens 18 years and above.

Within the population group of citizens more than 18 years of age, the guidelines mentioned, states and the UTs may decide their own prioritization factoring in the vaccine supply schedule.

The price of vaccine doses for private hospitals would have to be declared by each manufacturer, and any subsequent changes would have to be notified in advance. State governments will monitor the price charged by private hospitals, as service charge has been capped at Rs 150 per dose.

While all citizens, irrespective of income status, are entitled to free vaccination, those who have the ability to pay are encouraged to use private hospital vaccination centres, the guidelines said.