Vaccine Policy Centralised, States to Get Free Vaccines: PM Modi
PM Modi further said that private hospitals can still buy 25% of the doses directly from the manufacturers.
As the second wave of COVID-19 in the country is showing signs of ebbing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation on Monday, 7 June, announced centralisation of the COVID-19 vaccine drive and said that all vaccines will be procured by the Centre and given to the states for free.
He said that the Centre would take back control of the vaccination drive from the states and provide free vaccines to all above 18 years of age beginning 21 June.
“The central government is taking back control of the vaccination drive, which will be implemented in the next two weeks. The government will give free vaccines to states for all above 18 years of age. From 21 June, the Centre will provide free vaccines to all the states,” he said.
PM Modi further said that private hospitals can still buy 25 percent of the doses directly from the manufacturers and the ones who wish to get them can pay for them. However, the private hospitals can only charge Rs 150 as a service charge on vaccines, he said.
"75 percent of vaccination will be free and under the Centre, 25 percent will be paid and bought by private hospitals," he said.
‘Vaccination Drive Was Decentralised After Demand From States’
PM Modi further said that the Centre has supported the vaccine manufacturers and scientists produce vaccines before the other countries of the world started work on it.
He said that the decentralisation of the vaccination process was a demand by the states. “There was also a campaign run in sections of the media about these demands,” he said.
He said that after pressure from several states and stakeholders, the decision was taken to let states procure vaccines themselves.
“States started seeing the problems in procuring vaccines themselves. They started gauging how difficult it is to go about the processes,” he said, adding that several states have now again started advocating for centralisation of the vaccination drive.
Stressing on the importance of the vaccination drive, he said that vaccination is the only way forward against COVID-19 and lauded India’s efforts to produce two vaccines in India and having administered over 23 crore doses.
“Imagine, if we didn’t have vaccines made in India, how would have the country tackled the pandemic? If you see the history of 50-60 years, it would take at least a decade for various vaccines to come to India. Whether Polio or Small Pox or Hepatitis B, the nation has had to wait for them for years,” PM Modi claimed.
“Only 60 percent vaccine coverage was there in India (against various diseases) when we took over in 2014. The pace with which it was going, it would have taken 40 years for the country to get vaccinated,” he said, adding that the government launched the Indradhanush campaign which has now led to 90 percent of the country being vaccinated against these diseases in a span of 5-6 years.
PM Modi, in his previous address on 21 May, got emotional during an online interaction with healthcare workers from Varanasi.
"You have contained the virus significantly but there should be no complacency as it is going to be a long fight," PM Modi had said, while highlighting the Centre’s efforts to tackle the pandemic.
On 30 May, he addressed the nation in his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio program in which he lauded the efforts of the ‘heroes’ of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted individual interventions in the line of duty.
India on Monday reported 1,00,636 new coronavirus cases, the lowest daily increase in 61 days, according to the Union Health Ministry. The death toll increased by 2,427 to 3,49,186.
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