Everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1, opening options for states, hospital chains as well as corporate houses to procure and vaccinate all eligible recipients.The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by PM Modi on yesterday.
All adults can get Covid shots and states can buy doses directly from vaccine-makers in the “liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination”, the government said, on a day the country reported 2.73 lakh new daily cases in the highest spike since the pandemic broke out a year ago.
India began inoculating people in January using two Covid vaccines – Serum Institute of India’s Covishield developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech’s made-in-India Covaxin. So far, the government had allowed vaccinations only for health workers, frontline workers and those above 45 in a centrally-controlled process.
In his meetings yesterday, PM Modi stressed that vaccination was “the biggest weapon” in the fight against the coronavirus and urged doctors to encourage more and more patients to get vaccinated.
“The government has been working hard for over a year to ensure that maximum numbers of Indians are able to get the vaccine in the shortest possible of time,” said the PM.
Pricing, procurement, eligibility and administering of vaccines will be flexible in the latest round of the world’s largest vaccination drive.
Here are some important new rules:
1) Under the third phase of the vaccination drive commencing next month, the vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the central government and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the open market.
2) Manufacturers would have to make an advance declaration of the price for 50% supply that would be available to the state governments and in the open market before May 1, 2021, an official statement said.
3) Private Hospitals would have to procure their supplies of Covid-19 vaccine exclusively from the 50% supply earmarked for other than Govt. of India channel. Private Vaccination providers shall transparently declare their self-set vaccination price. The eligibility through this channel would be opened up to all adults, i.e. everyone above the age of 18.
4) Vaccination shall continue as before in Govt. of India vaccination centres, provided free of cost to the eligible population as defined earlier i.e. Health Care Workers (HCWs), Front Line Workers (FLWs) and all people above 45 years of age.
5) All vaccination (through Govt. of India and Other than Govt. of India channel) would be part of the National Vaccination Programme, and mandated to follow all protocol such as being captured on CoWIN platform, linked to AEFI reporting and all other prescribed norms. Stocks and price per vaccination applicable in all vaccination centres will also have to be reported real-time.
6) The division of vaccine supply 50% to Govt. of India and 50% to other than Govt. of India channel would be applicable uniformly across for all vaccines manufactured in the country. However Government of India will allow the imported fully ready to use vaccines to be entirely utilized in the other than Govt. of India channel.
7) Govt. of India, from its share, will allocate vaccines to States/UTs based on the criteria of extent of infection (number of active Covid cases) & performance (speed of administration). Wastage of vaccine will also be considered in this criteria and will affect the criteria negatively. Based on the above criteria, State-wise quota would be decided and communicated to the States adequately in advance.
8) Second dose of all existing priority groups i.e. HCWs, FLWs and population above 45 years, wherever it has become due, would be given priority, for which a specific and focused strategy would be communicated to all stakeholders.
9) Vaccination will continue as before in the government of India vaccination centres free of cost to the eligible population — healthcare and frontline workers and all people above 45 years of age.
10) This policy would come into effect from 1st May 2021 and will be reviewed from time to time.
COVID-19 Vaccination Phase 3: How to Register
.Visit the official website of CoWIN cowin.gov.in
.Enter your 10-digit mobile number or Aadhaar number
.You will receive an OTP on the mobile number, enter it in the given space
.Once registered, schedule your preferred date and time
.Get your COVID-19 vaccination done.
.After this, you will get a Reference ID via which you can get your vaccination certificate.
COVID-19 Vaccination Phase 3: Documents Required
You will need at least one of the following documents at the time of registration, along with a Photo ID
.Health Insurance Smart Card issued under by Ministry of Labour
.Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment
.Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Job Card
.Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs
.Passbooks issued by Bank/Post Office
.Service Identity Card issued to employees by Central/ State Govt./ Public Limited Companies.
In recent weeks, states like Maharashtra, Delhi and Punjab had called for opening up vaccinations and had also complained about running out of vaccine stocks. But in a comment that became controversial in the state versus centre tussle, a senior official said: “The aim is never to vaccinate whoever wants it, but always whoever needs it.”
While vaccinations have been slow compared to the centre’s target, the country has clocked over two lakh cases daily in the past few days. Recently, the government fast-tracked approvals for foreign vaccines cleared in other countries.