Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Centre to continue giving COVID vaccine doses free of cost to States, UTs from its 50% quota

The Centre will continue giving COVID vaccine doses from its 50 per cent quota to the states and UTs for free during the phase three of the Vaccination drive. These vaccines will continue to be administered by States and Union Territories.

In a Facebook post, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said, the balance 50 per cent quota grants flexibility for states. As many states had requested that the vaccination process be opened up for them, now, the balance 50 per cent quota will give them the freedom to vaccinate groups that they deem as priority. This quota is also open for the private sector to pool in its resources so that the combined effort of Team India can be deployed to vaccinate every adult in the earliest possible time.

The vaccination process through the Central government route will continue as before and the entire expense of this will continue to be borne by the Centre. The private sector route will empower a large number of people to get themselves quickly vaccinated outside the government route. In essence, those who can afford to get them at the private sector rates will go ahead. He said, the states, therefore, as per their own priority and commitments, have to vaccinate only those remaining people who have not been administered vaccines either through the Government of India free route or through the private route.

The Minister reiterated that the Central Government does not give vaccines directly to anyone. The 50 percent quota, that is at its pricing, is for free distribution of vaccines and distribution of all of this will be done through the states only. Hence, the allegation that the Centre is getting it cheap and States are not is patently false. He added that the actual situation is that states are getting one guaranteed channel of free vaccine supply, while it can simultaneously procure vaccines from another channel as per its aspirations and commitment to its people.

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