Govt expects all beneficiaries above 18 years to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by December 2021
The Union government on Friday informed Parliament that there was no fixed timeline at present for the completion of the Covid-19 vaccination drive due to the “dynamic and evolving” nature of the disease. However, the government also said it is expected that all beneficiaries in India above 18 years of age will be vaccinated against the disease by December 2021.
“The COVID-19 vaccination is an ongoing and dynamic process, which is being guided by National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID- 19 (NEGVAC) on the basis of concurrent scientific evidence. In view of the dynamic and evolving nature of COVID-19 pandemic, no fixed timeline at present can be indicated for the completion of vaccination drive, however, it is expected that all beneficiaries aged 18 years and above will be vaccinated by December 2021,” Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Mandaviya further said that as per the latest guidelines for vaccination, all citizens above 18 years of age are entitled to free vaccination at all government centres. He said this in reply to a question about whether the government has decided to administer the Covid-19 vaccine to the entire population free of cost on a priority basis.
The revised guidelines for the implementation of the national Covid vaccination programme came into effect on June 21 in India. Following this, the government of India procured 75% of the doses produced in the country by the vaccine makers, while the remaining 25% was allowed to be provided directly to direct hospitals.
States and Union territories are allotted vaccine doses based on their target population, consumption pattern and vaccine wastage, the minister further said. He also said that 34.83 crore doses of the vaccine have been given free of cost by the centre to the states.
When asked if states had kept up the pace of vaccination and about vaccine wastage, the minister said that between May 1 and July 13 this year, 249,000 doses of the vaccine have been wasted.