India has already started its vaccination drive to fight the Coronavirus, to achieve the same with higher rate, they have built up a National Vaccination program with accordance to the scientific evidence and WHO guidelines. Even before the Vaccine was made, the Government of India had taken early steps towards the vaccination drive. These were:
- Establishment of a Task Force in April 2020 to research upon domestic vaccine under the supervision of Government of India.
- A National level expert group was formed in August 2020, to frame an action plan for Vaccine administration in India.
- An Empowered Group was formed to ensure proper utilisation of technologies under the National Health Authority, in order to make Vaccination drive transparent and simple.
The Vaccination drive started with vaccination of all the frontline Health workers i.e. the health workers across the country, who have been fighting Coronavirus face to face from past one year. After them the vaccine was made available to all the citizens who belong to age group 60+, and then from April 2021 the Vaccination drive covered people who were 45+ years of age and soon the age group 18+ was also included. The statistics say that from 16th January to 30th April in the year 2021 Government procured 100% of Vaccine doses and transferred them to the State Government free of cost, to administer the Vaccination process themselves on the basis of priorities . In order to increase the speed of vaccination, private hospitals were also included to provide vaccines at prescribed rate.
According to the revised guidelines from 1st May 2021, the government of India procured 50% of the Vaccination produced in the country and the rest 50% were given to the State Governments across the country, for its administration of vaccination drive on prioritisation. Even after this many states informed that they were facing several issues in managing and procurement of the vaccines, which in turn was impacting the speed of Covid Vaccination drive. Such complaints were slowly coming from almost every state in the country and we’re increasing day by day. So after these not so satisfying reports from the states, the Government of India revised the guidelines and presented the Revised Guidelines with following aspects:
- Government of India will now procure 75% of the Vaccines produced in the country and they will continue to provide the same to the States and UTs free of cost which will be Given by the States to the citizens free of cost.
- The priority to give the vaccines will be Health Care Workers > Frontline Workers > 45+ Years old Citizen > Citizen with second dose > 18 and above years old.
- The distribution of Vaccine to States will depend on the demand and requirements accordingly. States will decide their prioritization of Vaccine supply.
- To maximise convenience the Centre will inform the states about the supply of Vaccine in advance which will help them plan in advance. The state should upload the information of availability of vaccines on public domains to make it easier for the citizens to avail them.
- Now the Private hospitals can directly buy vaccines from the manufacturers from 25% slot of monthly production left. Government of India will facilitate supply of these vaccines to the private hospitals and their payment through the National Health Authority’s electronic platform which in turn will help in timely supply and access to vaccines to citizens.
- The price at which Vaccine will be supplied to private hospitals will be decided by the manufacturers and the hospitals can charge upto 150 Rupees as service charge per dose of vaccine.
- All citizens are eligible for free vaccination. Those who can afford can go to the private hospitals for paid dose.
- To support EWS people at private Vaccination centres E-Vouchers can be redeemed at the centres to promote “Lok Kalyan”.
- Self pre-booking of vaccination appointment is available on the Cowin platform alongwith onsite registration facility at both private and government Vaccination Centres.
- States may also optimally utilize the Common Service Centres and Call Centres to facilitate prior booking by citizens.
The revised guidelines will come into effect from 21st June 2021 and will be reviewed from time to time.
– Animesh Raizada, Intern, POSH at Work