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Centre issues revised guidelines for implementation of national Covid vaccination programme

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By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Jun 08, 2021 7:51 pm
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A healthcare worker preparing vaccine at NHAK before being administered to a beneficiary. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, June 8 (EMN): Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on Monday, wherein free vaccine was announced for all starting from June 21, the Central government on Tuesday issued revised guidelines for implementation of national Covid vaccination programme.

The new guidelines stated that the government of India would procure 75% of the vaccines being produced by the manufacturers in the country and supply free of cost to states and union territories as has been the case from the commencement of the national vaccination programme.

‘These doses will be administered by the states/UTs free of cost to all citizens as per priority through government vaccination centres,’ it said.

The guidelines maintained that healthcare workers (HCWs); frontline workers (FLWs); citizens more than 45 years of age; citizens whose second dose has become due and citizens 18 years and above would be prioritised.

“Within the population group of citizens more than 18 years of age, states/UTs may decide their own prioritisation factoring in the vaccine supply schedule,” it however added.

Meanwhile, it reiterated that vaccine doses provided free of cost by the government of India would be allocated to states/UTs based on criteria such as population, disease burden and the progress of vaccination. Wastage of vaccine will affect the allocation negatively, it added.

It informed that the government of India will provide states/UTs advance information of vaccine doses to be supplied and the states/UTs are to further allocate doses well in advance to districts and vaccination centres as well as inform the citizens about the availability at district and vaccination centre-level, and widely disseminate it among the local population, maximising the visibility and convenience of citizens.

Further it maintained that, ‘in order to incentivise production by vaccine manufacturers and encourage new vaccines, domestic vaccine manufacturers are given the option to provide vaccines directly to private hospitals. This would be restricted to 25% of their monthly production’.

States/UTs would aggregate the demand of private hospitals keeping in view equitable distribution between large and small private hospitals and regional balance, it stated, and pointed that based on this aggregated demand, the government of India will facilitate supply of these vaccines to the private hospitals and payment through the National Health Authority’s electronic platform.

This would enable smaller and remote private hospitals to obtain timely supply of vaccines, and further equitable access and regional balance, it pointed out.

Private hospitals can take INR 150 as service charge

Meanwhile, it informed that the prices of vaccine doses for private hospitals would be declared by each vaccine manufacturer, and any subsequent changes would be notified in advance. The private hospitals may charge up to a maximum of INR 150 per dose as service charges.

State governments may monitor the service charge, it added.

Further, it pointed out that all citizens irrespective of their income status are entitled to free vaccination, however, it urged those who have the ability to pay to use private hospital’s vaccination centres.

With the view to promote the spirit of “Lok Kalyan”, use of non-transferable electronic vouchers which can be redeemed at private vaccination centres, will be encouraged. “This would enable people to financially support vaccination of economically weaker sections at private vaccination centres,” it stated.

It maintained that the CoWIN platform provides every citizen the facility to conveniently and safely pre-book vaccination appointments. However, it stated that all government and private vaccination centres would also provide on-site registration facilities, available both for individuals as well as groups of individuals, for which detailed procedure is to be finalised and published by States/UTs, in order to minimise any inconvenience to citizens.

In order to facilitate wider accessibility, harness private capacity and flexibility, it instructed that ‘states may also optimally utilise the common service centres and call centres to facilitate prior booking by citizens’.

It also informed that the revised guidelines will come into effect from June 21, 2021 and will be reviewed from time to time.

It may be mentioned that Nagaland state started inoculating its citizens in 18-44 age group for free since May 17 in limited doses. The state launched vaccination drive for healthcare workers, frontline workers, citizens aged 60 years and above, and 45 years and above, along with the rest of the country.

The state has also announced intensified vaccination drive from June 8 to the 18th for all citizens aged 18 and above.

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By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Jun 08, 2021 7:51:04 pm