Change in national vaccination policy not due to SC observations: Sources
New Delhi, June 08: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given an in-principle clearance to the plan for a centralised free vaccination after a presentation was made to him on June 1. The announcement was made on Monday during the PM's address to the nation.
States and private hospitals were monitored for a month after they were allowed to procure 25 per cent of the domestic vaccine production each. While the Congress sought to attribute the change in policy to the rebuttal by the Supreme Court on June 3, sources tell OneIndia that the groundwork was laid much before and the nod by the PM for a change in policy was given on June 1 itself.
The PM said that starting June 21, the Centre would procure the vaccines and give it to free to all Indians above the age of 18. The PM said that private hospitals which administer the dose at a cost would be allowed to charge a service fee of only Rs 150 above the cost of the vaccine.
The PM said that in the next two weeks, the Centre will work with the states on the guidelines and implement the changes in the national vaccination policy. The source cited above said that the vaccine supplies contracted by the hospitals and states under the 50-25-25 scheme will be fulfilled. The Centre would help ensure supplies to the private sector and ensure that the vaccines are better distributed.
This scheme has been in place since May 1.
During his address to the nation, the PM said that in the days to come, the vaccine supplies would be increased. There are 7 companies that are producing vaccines. Three more vaccine trials are at the advance stage. There is also a nasal vaccine in the making, the PM also said.
The PM also said that the government decided to vaccinate the health care workers first. Could you imagine what would have happened had they not been given the vaccination. They are able to help the people only because they are vaccinated, PM Modi also said.
The PM also said that the Centre is taking back control of vaccination from states. He said starting June 21, Centre will provide free vaccines to the states. This will be implemented in the next two weeks, the PM also said. When we opened the vaccination for the states to vaccinate those in the age group of 18-44, many questions were asked.
He said that the Centre will buy 75 per cent of the total vaccine production from manufacturers and give it free of cost to the state government apart from bearing the responsibility of 25 per cent of the work related to vaccination with the states.
Initially, there were questions raised on why the Centre is controlling the vaccination drive entirely.
Many ran campaigns against our policy as well. From May 1 onwards we decided to hand over 25 per cent of the vaccination work to the states. Many states tried implementing this and learnt what the difficulties were. The same people who questioned us began saying that the earlier system was a better one.
Hence, now it has been decided that the responsibility to vaccinate is being taken back by the Centre.
In the next two weeks, the Centre and States would work on the new guidelines. The states will not have to spend on the vaccines. Free vaccination will be given to all above the age of 18 years, the PM said.
The PM also said that private hospitals who are vaccinating the people will be allowed to charge for the same. However the PM said that the private hospitals can charge only Rs 150 as service charge above the price of the vaccinations, the PM also said.