COVID-19 vaccine: Free vaccination for all adults above 18 starts today- All you need to know!

COVID-19 free vaccination policy: All citizens above the age of 18 years will be able to avail free COVID-19 vaccination at any government facility.

Created On: Jun 21, 2021 13:30 ISTModified On: Jun 21, 2021 13:30 IST
COVID-19 free vaccination policy

The centralized COVID-19 free vaccination policy has started from June 21, 2021, under which the Central Government will provide free Coronavirus vaccines to all Indian citizens above the age of 18.

The announcement of the centralized free vaccination policy was made by Prime Minister Modi in a televised address to the nation.

He informed that the Central Government will take over the nationwide vaccination drive and from June 21 (International Day of Yoga), the government will provide free vaccines to the state.

In his address, PM Modi pointed that whether it is the poor, the middle class, the lower middle class, or the upper-middle class, everyone will get free vaccines under the program at the government vaccination centers.

The Central Government will procure 75% of COVID-19 vaccines and give them to the state governments for free distribution to all the citizens above the age of 18 years. The government will also be handling 25% of vaccination that was with states till now under the liberalized plan announced earlier.

Free COVID-19 vaccination for all adults: All you need to know

All citizens above the age of 18 years will be able to avail free COVID-19 vaccination at any government facility.

As the Central Government will buy 75% of the total vaccines and give them to states, no State Government will have to spend anything on the vaccine.

All the vaccination centers, both government and private, will provide on-site Covid vaccine registration facilities and might also vaccinate on the same day. The pre-registration on the Co-win app is no longer mandatory.

The State Governments can avail the facilities of Call Centers and Common Service Centers to help citizens in booking slots for vaccination.

Systematic flow of COVID-19 vaccines to the private sector:

The Union Health Minister informed on June 18, 2021, that states will be playing a facilitatory role by aggregating demand and the vaccination capabilities of the private hospitals in the state and also ensure the administration of the vaccines.

Dr VK Paul, Member, Health of the Niti Aayog said that there will be a systematic flow of vaccines to the private sector as well. Through this way, there will be a lot of energy in the participation of the private sector and the vaccination centers will also increase.

COVID-19 vaccines at private hospitals:

Prime Minister Modi in his address informed that the private hospitals will continue to buy the remaining 25% and inoculate those who are willing to pay for their jabs. However, private hospitals cannot charge more than Rs. 150 as a service charge per dose over the fixed price of vaccines.

Prices of COVID-19 vaccines at private vaccine centers:

As per the Health Ministry, the maximum prices that can be charged per dose by private vaccine centers on three COVID-19 vaccines currently available in India are:

Vaccine

Prices at private vaccine centers per dose

Covishield

Rs. 780

COVAXIN

Rs. 1,410

Sputnik V

Rs. 1,145

 

Why did the government decide on free vaccination policy?

Before the announcement by the Central Government to provide free vaccines to adults above the age of 18, it was the responsibility of the State Governments to procure and administer 50% of the vaccines for the citizens between the ages of 18 to 45. While free vaccines were only provided to those aged 45 and above by the Central Government.

However, the Chief Ministers of several states urged the Central Government to procure vaccines after the manufacturers denied o supply them directly. The shortage of vaccines further forced many vaccination centers across the country to shut down.

The Supreme Court of India had also slammed the Central Government earlier for the ‘liberalised’ vaccination policy for the 18-45 age group and called it ‘irrational and arbitrary’.

The apex court bench, headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud, had asked the Government about Rs. 35,000 crore earmarked for procuring vaccines in Union Budget. 

COVID-19 vaccination status in India:

As per the Union Health Ministry, as many as 27,66,93,572 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in India so far, including 38,10,554 on June 20, 2021.

In the age group of 18-44, as many as 5,42,21,110 citizens and 14,42,38,142 over the age of 45 years have received their first dose.

90,32,813 frontline workers, 70,65,889 healthcare workers, 12,27,088 between the age of 18-44, and 3,36,80,696 over the age of 45 and above have been fully vaccinated.

More than 29.10 crore vaccine doses have been provided to the States and UTs so far by Central Government through free-of-cost channels and through direct state procurement.

More than 3.06 crores vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs to be administered.

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