New Delhi, Apr 19 (MNN) The Indian government announced on Monday that all those above the age of 18 in the country would be allowed to get vaccine shots to protect against coronavirus from May 1.
The decision in this regard was taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said that the Centre had been working hard for over a year to ensure that maximum Indians were able to get the vaccine in the shortest possible time.
India was vaccinating people at world record pace and would continue this with even greater momentum, Modi added.
In its Phase-III, the National Vaccine Strategy aims at liberalised vaccine pricing and scaling up of vaccine coverage.
This would augment vaccine production as well as availability, incentivising vaccine manufacturers to rapidly ramp up their production as well as attract new vaccine manufacturers, domestic and international.
It would also make pricing, procurement, eligibility and administration of vaccines open and flexible, allowing all stakeholders the flexibility to customise to local needs and dynamics.
The main elements of the Liberalised and Accelerated Phase 3 Strategy of the National Covid-19 Vaccination programme with effect from May 1, 2021 include supply of 50 of monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to government of India by manufacturers. The manufacturers would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to state governments and the open market/other than GoI channel.
Drug manufacturers would transparently make an advance declaration of the price for 50 per cent supply available to states and in the open market before May 1.
Based on this price, state governments, private hospitals, industrial establishments would procure vaccine doses from the manufacturers.
Private hospitals would have to procure vaccine supplies exclusively from the 50 per cent supply earmarked for other than GoI channel.
Private Vaccination providers shall transparently declare their self-set vaccination price.
The eligibility through this channel would be opened up to all adults, that is, everyone above the age of 18.
Vaccination shall continue as before in government of India vaccination centres, provided free of cost to the eligible population as defined earlier, that is, healthcare and frontline workers and those above 45.
All vaccination (through GoI and Other than GoI channel would be part of the National Vaccination Programme, and mandated to follow all protocols.
Stocks and price per vaccination applicable in all vaccination centres will also have to be reported real-time.
The division of vaccine supplies would be applicable uniformly for all corona vaccines manufactured in the country.
However, the government of India would allow the imported fully ready-to-use vaccines to be entirely utilised in other than GoI channel.
The government of India, from its share, would allocate vaccines to states/UTs based on the criteria of extent of infection (number of active cases) and performance (speed of administration). Wastage of vaccines would also be considered in this criteria and would affect the criteria negatively.
Based on the above criteria, state-wise quota would be decided and communicated to the states adequately in advance.
The second dose of all existing priority groups, wherever it has become due, would be given priority, for which a specific and focused strategy would be communicated to all stakeholders.
This policy would come into effect from May 1 and reviewed from time to time.