Centre will kick-start the free distribution of 75 per cent of total COVID vaccines cleared by the Central Drug lab to all the States & Union Territories from tomorrow. This includes vaccines for beneficiaries of all age group including those between 18 to 44 years. The move is aimed at strengthening and further ramping up the Covid-19 vaccination drive in the country.
The procurement of vaccines by the Centre, which is currently 50 per cent of the total doses cleared by the Central drug lab will be enhanced to 75 per cent. The vaccines will then be given to all the States and Union Territories for administration to people of all age groups. The announcement regarding this was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 7th of this month in his address to the Nation.
After commencement of this policy, the States and UTs will not have to pay any amount for the procurement of vaccines as Centre will bear all the expenses for the same. An early estimate suggests that the new policy will cost the Centre over 15 thousand crore rupees more than its previously allocated 35 thousand crore rupees for the Vaccination programme in the current financial year.
The Centre will also pay the GST of 5 per cent on the vaccines procured, making vaccination at Government facilities completely free for all eligible beneficiaries.