On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the significant revisions that the Centre government has made in the Covid vaccination policy.
“Today, it has been decided that the Centre will take over the 25 percent vaccination procurement handed over to states earlier and will procure 75 percent of all vaccines produced in India. No state government will have to spend anything on vaccines.”
The government has advised to prioritise free doses for healthcare workers, followed by frontline workers, citizens above 45 years, and citizens above 18 years whose second dose is due.
As per the reports, the guidelines also encourage the use of non-transferable electronic vouchers that can be redeemed at private vaccination centres, to enable people to financially support the vaccination of economically weaker sections at private vaccination centres.
Centre government has also decided to extend the benefit of the free vaccination scheme to the age group of 18-44. The vaccine will be available free for all from June 21.
Will Private Hospitals Still Be Able to Procure Vaccines?
Those who don’t want the free vaccine can get vaccinated in private hospitals. But apart from the cost of the Covid vaccine, private hospitals will not be allowed to charge above Rs 150 per dose. The states will be responsible to monitor the same.
AS per the revised Vaccine policy, private hospitals will still be able to buy 25 percent of all vaccines produced in India directly from the manufacturers
PM Garib Kalyan Yojana
“More than 80 crore people were given free ration for eight months under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana last year due to Covid-19 and the lockdown,” said PM Modi.
He further added, “Today, the government has decided to extend it till Deepawali (November).”
Opposition Appreciated The Decision
Back in Feb '21 & multiple times thereafter, I'd written to the PM stating our long standing demand to provide vaccines to ALL for FREE.
Took him 4 months but after much pressure, he has FINALLY listened to us & implemented what we've been asking all this while. (1/2)
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) June 7, 2021
Universal free vaccination for all.
Finally you’ve listened to us, Hon’ble Prime Minister. And emerged a stronger man.
— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) June 7, 2021
Credit Goes to Supreme Court’s Judicial Review
Supreme Court on May 31 had questioned the Centre’s vaccination policy and termed it “prima facie arbitrary and irrational”.
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice L. Nageswara Rao, and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat had raised two concerns…
1 The apex court has questioned the dual pricing across different states and also criticised the government to compete with each other to get the vaccine. “If this is the rationale, why do the States have to pay a higher price? You have to ensure that vaccines are available at the same price across the nation. You can’t have a different price at the Centre and different at the states,” noted the three-judge bench.
2 The court had also questioned the different treatment given to the age group 18-44 years. The bench called it prima facie arbitrary and irrational and said that particularly considering the fact this age group was the worst hit during the second wave of the pandemic.