Pvt hospitals to get 25% vaccines, can charge ₹150 plus vaccine cost: PM Modi
Announcing free vaccines for Indian states on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that private hospitals will be allowed to charge a maximum service charge of ₹150 on the fixed price of the jabs.
Private hospitals in the country are allowed to secure 25% of the vaccines manufactured in the country under the current distribution model between state and private entities.
However, they will now be able to charge a maximum service charge of ₹150 for a single dose after the fixed price of the vaccine, PM Modi said in his address to the nation.
The task of monitoring it will be with the state governments only, the prime minister said.
In a half an hour-long address, PM Modi said all Indians above the age 18 will be vaccinated for free starting June 21, vowing to speed up the inoculation drive. The move announced by PM Modi reverses the earlier policy of asking the states to compete for supplies for the 18-45 age group.
"From Monday, June 21, in every state of the country, for all citizens above the age of 18 years, the Government of India will provide free vaccines. The Government of India will procure 75% of the total vaccine production from vaccine manufacturers and give it free to the state governments," he added.
In his address to the nation after April 20, PM Modi said the Centre will buy 75% of the total vaccine production from manufacturers and give it free of cost to the state governments and will also bear the responsibility of 25% of the work related to vaccination with the states.
Also read: Centre to shoulder remaining 25% of vaccine work done by states, says PM Modi
"This arrangement will be implemented in the coming two weeks. In these two weeks, the central and state governments will together make necessary preparations according to the new guidelines,” PM Modi said.
Under the earlier policy, the Centre was providing free vaccines to the elderly and frontline workers, and left state governments and private hospitals to administer doses for a fee to people in the 18-45 age group.
The decision to centralise vaccine procurement is expected to ease the burden on states scrambling to vaccinate their citizens. At least a dozen states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh rushed to float global tenders for procuring vaccines but could not achieve any confirmation from international vaccine manufacturers.
India has administered 232 million doses since January 16 after launching the inoculation drive and close to 3.4% of its population is now fully immunized.
It will take another 22 months to cover 75% of the population, according to Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker.
India on Monday continued to see a decline in its daily infections, signalling the end of a deadly second wave after peaking on May 7 this year. In the last 24 hours, India saw 100,636 new infections and 2,427 deaths, according to the health ministry data.