Making a strong case for accelerating the pace of vaccination against COVID-19, Chief Economic Advisor K V Subramanian on Monday said it was important not only for the health of people but also for the economy. There has been increase in vaccine doses but there is a need to enhance the pace of coverage for the population, he said. “Pace of vaccination picking up is extremely important because it will help in lowering the likelihood of another COVID-19 wave and thereby also positively enable the economic recovery,” he said while briefing the media on the GDP numbers for the financial year ended March 2021.
Economic activity is inextricably linked to the path of pandemic, he emphasised. Stressing that ramping up healthcare is an important priority for the nation, he said, “Vaccination is not only important for the health of people but also for the health of the economy and the government remains committed to it (vaccination).” The health ministry has already talked about procurement of vaccines and accelerating the pace of vaccination programme, he added. Subramanian further said that there was an urgent need to contain the spread of pandemic and vaccination and strict observation of Covid-appropriate behaviour are going to help in that direction.
The health ministry on Sunday said nearly 12 crore doses of coronavirus vaccine will be available in June as against 7.94 crore doses in May. The allocation of supplies to states and union territories is decided on the consumption pattern, population and vaccine wastage, the ministry said. As per the ‘Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy’, 50 per cent of the available vaccine doses are supplied to the states and UTs free of cost from the central government. The remaining 50 per cent of vaccine doses are available for direct procurement from the vaccine manufacturers by states and UTs as well as private hospitals.