Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced that the central government will provide free coronavirus vaccine to states for inoculation of all above the age of 18 from June 21.
PM Modi in an address to the nation said that the Centre has decided to buy 75% of jabs from vaccine makers, including 25% of the state quota, and give it for free to state governments.
PM Modi said private sector hospitals can continue to procure 25 per cent of vaccines, but their service charge would be capped at ₹150 per dose over fixed price of the vaccine.
Under the earlier policy, the federal government gave free vaccines to the elderly and frontline workers, and left state governments and private hospitals to administer doses for a fee to people in the 18-45 age group.
As several states take cautious steps towards unlocking and easing of restrictions with a decline in COVID-19 cases, the prime minister said vaccination is like a protection shield against the virus and asserted that vaccine supply would be increased significantly in India in coming days.
Modi said seven companies are producing various vaccines against the coronavirus in the country and trial of three more vaccines is at an advanced stage.
The process of procuring vaccines from companies of other countries has also been expedited, the prime minister said.
Amid concerns expressed by experts recently over children being affected by the virus, Modi said that in this direction trials of two vaccines are being carried out.
Modi said research is continuing on a nasal spray vaccine which, if successful, can significantly boost India’s vaccination drive, he said.
The Prime Minister said that India proved its mettle by making two made-in-India COVID-19 vaccines in a short time and over 23 crore doses have already been administered,
Modi asserted that efforts are being made on a war-footing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic at various levels and production of essential medicines was ramped up.
India is fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic on multiple fronts and new health infrastructure has been created across country, he asserted.
Modi has addressed the nation a number of times since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, offering suggestions to people and outlining measures his government has been taking to deal with the situation.
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