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The Government of India has announced the fourth phase of its New Covid-19 vaccine policy. This phase expands its vaccination coverage to everyone aged 18 and older from May 1.
Earlier Three Phases:
- The first three phases vaccinated healthcare workers, frontline workers, and those above the age of 45.
- The Centre procured the entire quantity of vaccines from manufacturers Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech(Covishield and Covaxin respectively). The centre then distributed them to states for vaccination.
- The states distributed the stock to government vaccination centres. These government centres administered the vaccine free of cost. Private hospitals charged recipients Rs 250 per dose.
Fourth Phase of Covid-19 Vaccine Policy:
Under this phase there are few changes,
Changes for Citizens:
- All adults over the age of 18 will be eligible for vaccination starting from May 1.
- Those eligible in the earlier phases can continue to get the free doses provided by the Government of India.
Changes in Distribution:
- Earlier, 100% of vaccines were being procured by the Centre and allocated to the states based on demand.
- Under the new rules, the Centre will automatically receive only 50% of vaccines produced by manufacturers. It will allocate these to states based on the extent of infection (active cases) and performance (speed of administration).
- The remaining 50% can be acquired by the states directly or by private hospitals and industrial establishments at a price.
Note: The government will monitor the prices charged by private hospitals. A mechanism will be put in place to monitor vaccine stocks and capturing prices on the Co-win platform.
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- The Centre will allow the imported, fully ready-to-use vaccines to be entirely utilised in the other-than-Government of India channel.
- Thus, if a foreign pharma giant brings its vaccine to India, it will be free to directly sell the entire stock in the open market at a competitive price.
Source: Indian Express