Vaccine wastage by states will affect the allocation of jabs to them, the Union government said Tuesday in the revised guidelines for the national vaccination drive. The revised guideline comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, post the Supreme Court’s criticism, announced free vaccines for all above 18.
The Centre has clarified that it will procure 75 per cent of the COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in India. The vaccine stock will be distributed to states based on factors such as population, disease burden and immunization progress. According to the guidelines, wastage of vaccines will affect the allocation of jabs negatively.
States blamed for wasting vaccines
Recently, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were blamed by the Centre for wasting vaccines at a time when there is an acute shortage of these jabs in the country. The Centre claimed that the wastage in Jharkhand was around 37 percent, whereas it is around 30 per cent in Chhattisgarh. Similarly, Madhya Pradesh was blamed for wasting 11 per cent of vaccines.
The states, however, refuted the allegations saying that the Centre’s data was faulty and the actual wastage was only around 5 per cent.
Free vaccination from June 21
PM Modi, while addressing the nation on Monday, said that the Union government will provide free vaccination to all above 18 years starting June 21.
He blamed the state governments saying that they had demanded the decentralisation of vaccine procurement, but many of them later understood the difficulties in procuring vaccines in the current scenario and wanted resumption of the previous system in force till April-end.
He also asserted that those people who do want free vaccines and prefer to get their immunization done in a private hospital will also be able to do so. He said that 25 per cent of the vaccine stock manufactured by companies will be made available to private hospitals.
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