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Government eases norms on pricing, procurement, eligibility of COVID-19 vaccines to fast-track vaccination

ANI | Updated: Apr 19, 2021 23:25 IST

New Delhi [India], April 19 (ANI): In a significant decision to check the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country and vaccinate largest section of population in shortest possible time, the government on Monday announced the decision to liberalise and accelerate the Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination.
According to the main elements of the Liberalised and Accelerated Phase 3 Strategy of the National COVID-19 vaccination programme that would come in effect from May 1, vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the central government and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the open market.
According to a Health Ministry release, the manufacturers would transparently make an advance declaration of the price for 50 per cent supply that would be available to state governments and in the open market before May 1.
"Based on this price, state governments, private hospitals, industrial establishments among other institutions 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 per cent supply earmarked for other than the government 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," it said.
The release said that vaccination will continue as before in central vaccination centres, where vaccines will be provided free of cost to the eligible population as defined earlier -- Health Care Workers (HCWs), Front Line Workers (FLWs) and all people above 45 years of age.

"All vaccination 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," the Ministry said.
It said that the division of vaccine supply 50 per cent to Centre and 50 per cent to 'other than the government of India' channel would be applicable uniformly across for all vaccines manufactured in the country.
"However, the Centre will allow the imported fully ready to use vaccines to be entirely utilized in the 'other than the government of India' channel," the Ministry said.
The Centre, from its share, will allocate vaccines to states and union territories based on the criteria of extent of infection (number of active Covid cases) and 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," it said.
The government has also decided that the second dose of all existing priority groups-- 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.
"This policy would come into effect from May 1 and will be reviewed from time to time," the release said. (ANI)