The Centre on Tuesday said that the states and Union territories will be provided free COVID19 vaccine doses based on criteria such as population, disease burden and the progress of vaccination. 

“Wastage of vaccine will affect the allocation negatively,” the Union ministry of health and family welfare stated in its new revised guidelines.

The Centre said health care and frontline workers will continue to receive the highest priority for COVID19 vaccination followed by citizens above 45 years of age and those whose second dose is due.

Also read: Covid19 vaccine Covishield produces more antibodies than Covaxin, claims study

“Within the population group of citizens more than 18 years of age, states/UTs may decide their own prioritization factoring in the vaccine supply schedule,” it added.

“Government of India will provide states/UTs advance information of vaccine doses to be supplied to them,” the guidelines said.

“States/UTs should similarly, further allocate doses well in advance to districts and vaccination centers.”

“They should also put in the public domain the information about the above availability at district and vaccination center level, and widely disseminate it among the local population, maximizing the visibility and convenience of citizens,” the guidelines said.

The Centre said all citizens, irrespective of their income status, are entitled to free vaccination.

However, people, who have the ability to pay are encouraged to use private hospital’s vaccination centres.

The Centre also said that use of non-transferable electronic vouchers which can be redeemed at private vaccination center will be encouraged.

“This would enable people to financially support vaccination of Economically Weaker Sections at private vaccination centres,” it added.

As a follow-up of the Prime Minister’s announcement of the changes in the guidelines of national COVID vaccination programme, the Union health ministry on Tuesday has placed an order with Serum Institute of India (SSI) for 25 crore doses of Covishield.

The Union health ministry also informed that it has placed order with Bharat Biotech for 19 crore doses of Covaxin.

These total 44 crore doses of COVID19 vaccines will be available till December 2021, starting now, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday.

Additionally, 30% of the advance for procurement of both the Covid19 vaccines has been released to the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, it added.

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