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India administers record 75 lakh Covid vaccine doses in a day after policy switch

A health worker inoculates a woman with a jab of Covishield's Covid-19 Coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination Centre in New Delhi on June 21, 2021. (AFP)Premium
A health worker inoculates a woman with a jab of Covishield's Covid-19 Coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination Centre in New Delhi on June 21, 2021. (AFP)

  • India's cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage is now nearly 28.7 crore
  • Meanwhile, BJP national president JP Nadda said earlier today that India will have 257 crore Covid vaccine doses by December to take up double-dose vaccination of people in full swing

As the Centre's 'Revised Guidelines for Covid Vaccination' kickstarted today, in which all adults will be provided free anti-Covid jabs, the Union Health Ministry informed that more than 75 lakh vaccine doses were administered across the country till the evening.

It is the highest number of doses administered in a day since the vaccination drive started on January 16. India's cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage is now nearly 28.7 crore.

Over the last 24 hours, India reported 53,256 infections, the lowest since March 24. Infections hit a peak of about 400,000 a day in May and deaths soared to around 170,000 in April-May.

Over the last 30 days, India has administered an average 27 lakh doses a day.

Meanwhile, BJP national president JP Nadda said earlier today that India will have 257 crore Covid vaccine doses by December to take up double dose vaccination of people in full swing.

He said this while visiting a vaccination centre at the RML hospital in the national capital.

He also said that in India, the world's "largest and fastest" vaccination programme is going on and within 9 months the country produced two indigenous vaccines against Covid under the leadership of Modi.

On 8 June, PM Modi had announced that the central government would take over the nationwide vaccination drive, and the Centre would procure 75 per cent of vaccines and give them to states for free distribution to all citizens above the age of 18.

The Centre will also handle the 25 per cent vaccination that was with states till now under the liberalised plan announced earlier.

In a briefing on last Friday, the health ministry had said states would be playing a facilitatory role by aggregating demand and vaccination capabilities of private hospitals in the state and ensure the administrations of vaccinations.

"There will be a systematic flow of vaccines to the private sector as well. I am hopeful that in this way, there will be a lot of energy in the participation of the private sector and vaccination sites will increase," Dr VK Paul, Member, Health of the Niti Aayog said.

Previous policy

The statement was a reversal of the Union health ministry's guidelines to the states that came into effect before the third phase of the inoculation drive began.

The ministry had adopted a new protocol, wherein states were given the responsibility to procure and administer the vaccine to people in the age group of 18 to 45. The vaccines were to be procured by state governments at pre-determined prices from the manufacturers.

The central government would, however, continue to buy half of all the vaccines made from healthcare and frontline workers, and those above the age of 45.

The COVID vaccination in the country commenced with the vaccination for all healthcare workers from January 16.

The programme was expanded with time to include vaccination of frontline workers, citizens more than 60 years of age, citizens more than 45 years of age and eventually citizens more than 18 years of age.

Under the National COVID Vaccination Program, from January 16 to April 30, 100 percent of vaccine doses were procured by the Government of India and provided free of cost to state governments.

State Governments were, in turn, asked to administer vaccination free of cost to defined priority groups.

To increase the pace of vaccination, participation of private hospitals was also enlisted where individuals could also choose to get vaccinated at a prescribed rate, the ministry said.

In response to the suggestions of many state governments to be permitted the flexibility to procure vaccine directly and administer them as per their own prioritisation based on local requirements.

From May 1, the Centre was procuring 50 percent of the vaccine produced and was continuing to provide them to states free of cost for administering to priority groups.

The state government and private hospitals were now also empowered to directly procure from the remaining 50 percent vaccine pool.

"Many states have, however, had communicated that they are facing difficulties in managing the funding, procurement and logistics of vaccines, impacting the pace of the National COVID Vaccination Program.

"Also it was noted that smaller and remoter private hospitals were also facing constraints.

"Keeping in view these aspects and the repeated requests received from states, the Guidelines for National COVID Vaccination Program were reviewed and revised and new guidelines were issued on June 8," the ministry said.

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