The Central government on June 7, 2021, announced the fixed prices of the COVID-19 vaccines that private hospitals in the country can charge.
Indigenously made COVISHIELD and COVAXIN have been fixed at Rs 1,410 and Rs 780 per dose, respectively while Russia’s Sputnik V has been fixed at Rs 1,145 per dose. These prices are inclusive of taxes and a service charge of Rs 150 for the hospitals.
The Centre has strictly advised against charging more than Rs 150 as a service charge. The state governments will keep a track of private hospitals and in case of flouting of rules, strict action will be taken for overcharging for vaccines.
Centre modified its vaccine procurement strategy: PM Modi
•PM Modi in his address to the nation on June 7, 2021, said that the Centre will now procure 75 vaccines directly from the manufacturers of vaccines, including the 25 per cent quota allotted to the States earlier.
•State governments need not spend on the procurement of vaccines from manufacturers. The Centre will provide vaccines free of cost to the citizens above 18 years of age from June 21 onwards.
•Private hospitals, however, will still be able to procure 25 per cent of the vaccines from the manufacturers but they will not be allowed to charge more than Rs 150 as service charge over and above the vaccine prices.
•The government-run centres will continue to provide vaccines free of cost to all eligible citizens.
India’s COVID-19 vaccination policy and coverage
•The Centre on May 1, 2021, had rolled the Liberalized Phase III of India’s vaccination strategy with an aim to universalize the free COVID-19 vaccination for all adults above 18 years across the country. Indigenously made vaccines, COVIDSHIELD and COVAXIN are being administered under the national COVID-19 vaccination program.
•In a follow-up to the announcements made by PM Modi regarding the vaccination program on June 7, 2021, the Health Ministry informed that an order for 25 crore doses of COVISHIELD and 19 crore doses of COVAXIN has been placed with Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, respectively.
•The Centre further informed that it has also released a 30 per cent advance to Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech for the procurement of both vaccines.
•The Health Ministry further stated that so far there is no evidence that the third wave of COVID-19 would adversely affect children. In the second wave itself, children have been found admitted for COVID-19 but those with co-morbidities or low immunity.
•India’s cumulative vaccination coverage as of June 8, 2021, exceeded 23.88 crores of which 19.19 crore people have been administered with the first dose while 4.69 crores with the second dose.
•India’s COVID-19 active caseload has declined by about 65 per cent since the highest peak of 37.45 lakh active cases were reported on May 10, 2021, said the Health Ministry on June 9, 2021.