New Delhi: Besides opening up vaccination for those above 18 years from May 1, the Centre took several other important decisions at a meeting on Monday chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Vaccine manufacturers have been empowered to release up to 50% of their supply to state governments and in the open market at a pre-declared price.
All the new policies will come into effect from May 1.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had written to Modi two days ago, urging the Prime Minister to make vaccines available in the open market.
Following are some of the key elements of national vaccination strategy announced on April 19 (to be effective from May 1):
(i) Vaccine manufacturers would supply 50% of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL)-released doses to Govt of India and would be free to supply the remaining 50% doses to State Govts and in the open market (hereinafter referred to as other than Govt. of India channel).
(ii) Manufacturers would transparently make an advance declaration of the price for 50% supply that would be available to State Govts and in open market, before 1st May 2021. Based on this price, State governments, private hospitals, industrial establishments etc would be able to procure vaccine doses from the manufacturers. Private hospitals would have to procure their supplies of Covid-19 vaccine exclusively from the 50% supply earmarked for other than Govt. of India channel. Private Vaccination providers shall transparently declare their self-set vaccination price. The eligibility through this channel would be opened up to all adults, i.e. everyone above the age of 18.
(iii) Vaccination shall continue as before in Govt. of India vaccination centres, provided free of cost to the eligible population as defined earlier i.e. Health Care Workers (HCWs), Front Line Workers (FLWs) and all people above 45 years of age.
(iv) All vaccination (through Govt. of India and Other than Govt. of India channel) would be part of the National Vaccination Programme, and mandated to follow all protocol such as being captured on CoWIN platform, linked to AEFI reporting and all other prescribed norms. Stocks and price per vaccination applicable in all vaccination centres will also have to be reported real-time.
(v) The division of vaccine supply 50% to Govt of India and 50% to other than Govt. of India channel would be applicable uniformly across for all vaccines manufactured in the country. However, Government of India will allow the imported-fully ready-to-use vaccines to be entirely utilized in the other than Govt. of India channel.
(vi) Govt of India, from its share, will allocate vaccines to States/UTs based on the criteria of extent of infection (number of active Covid cases) & performance (speed of administration). Wastage of vaccine will also be considered in this criteria and will affect the criteria negatively. Based on the above criteria, State-wise quota would be decided and communicated to the States adequately in advance.
(vii) Second dose of all existing priority groups i.e. HCWs, FLWs and population above 45 years, wherever it has become due, would be given priority, for which a specific and focused strategy would be communicated to all stakeholders.