The present system of private COVID-19 vaccination centres receiving doses from the government and charging up to Rs 250 per dose will cease to exist as from May 1, they will procure directly from vaccine manufacturers.
According to the Liberalized Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, COVID-19 vaccination will continue to be free for eligible population groups comprising healthcare workers, frontline workers and population above 45 years of age in government COVID vaccination centres which receive doses from the Government of India.
Vaccine manufacturers would make an advance declaration of the price for 50% supply that would be available to state governments in the open market before May 1. Based on this price, states, private hospitals, industrial establishments may procure vaccine doses from manufacturers. Private hospitals would have to procure their supplies of the vaccine exclusively from the 50% supply earmarked for other than the Government of India channel. The price charged for vaccination by private hospitals would be monitored.
The Union Health Ministry document said that consequently, the present dispensation where private COVID vaccination centres receive doses from the government and can charge up to Rs 250 per dose will cease to exist.
Vaccine manufacturers would supply 50% of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the Government of India and would be free to supply remaining 50% doses to state governments and in the open market. For Government of India vaccination centres, the eligible population would be the same which exists today that is healthcare workers (HCWs), frontline workers (FLWs) and population above 45 years of age. Besides this, the eligible would be all adult citizens of the country.
The vaccination will continue to be free for eligible population groups in all those Government COVID Vaccination Centres which receive vaccine doses from the government. The vaccination would be part of the National Vaccination Programme, will follow all existing guidelines, will be captured on CoWIN platform along with the stocks and price per vaccination applicable in all vaccination centres, will comply with Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) management and reporting, digital vaccination certificate and all other prescribed norms.
The division of vaccine supply which would mean 50% to the government and 50% to other channels would be applicable uniformly across for all vaccines manufactured in the country. However, the fully ready to use imported vaccine would be allowed to be utilized entirely in the other channel. The centre from its share, will allocate vaccines to states and UTs based on the criteria of performance (speed of administration, average consumption), extent of infections.