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India Scales Up COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage, All Above 18 Eligible To Take Vaccine From May 1

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the government has been working hard from over a year to ensure that maximum number of Indians are able to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the shortest possible of time

India Scales Up COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage, All Above 18 Eligible To Take Vaccine From May 1

New Delhi: In a significant decision to check the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, the government on Monday announced t hat everyone above the age of 18 from will be eligible to take vaccine from May 1 and decided to make pricing, procurement, eligibility and administration of vaccines open and flexible. The decision was widely welcomed. The decision on a liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister said that the government has been working hard from over a year to ensure that maximum numbers of Indians are able to get the vaccine in the shortest possible of time. He later said in a tweet that numerous key decisions were taken during this morning’s high-level meeting on vaccination.

Together, we will defeat the COVID-19 global pandemic he said. In Phase-III, the National Vaccine Strategy aims at liberalised vaccine pricing and scaling up of vaccine coverage to augment vaccine production as well as availability. It seeks to incentivize vaccine manufacturers to rapidly ramp up their production as well as attract new vaccine manufacturers, domestic and international. It would allow all stakeholders the flexibility to customise to local needs and dynamics.

Also Read: COVID Vaccine Equity: Where Does India Stand And How Can We Tackle Global Inequity Amid Rising Coronavirus Cases

The government has made pricing, procurement, eligibility and administration of vaccines has been made flexible in Phase 3 of the world’s largest vaccination drive and all stakeholders have been given flexibility to customise to local needs. Vaccine manufacturers have been incentivized to further scale up their production, as well as attract new national and international players.

Vaccine manufacturers have been empowered to release up to 50 per cent of their supply to state governments and in the open market at a pre-declared price. States have also been empowered to procure additional vaccine doses directly from the manufacturers, as well as open up vaccination to any category of people above the age of 18 for the same

The vaccination drive started earlier will continue as before, providing free vaccination for essential and priority populations as defined earlier – healthcare workers, frontline workers and people above 45 years. According to the main elements of the Liberalised and Accelerated Phase 3 Strategy of the National COVID-19 vaccination programme that would come in effect from May 1, 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.

Also Read: Equitable Access To COVID-19 Vaccine Critically Important To Fight Pandemic, India’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ Trying To Ensure Access To All: External Affairs Minister

According to a Health Ministry release, the manufacturers would transparently make an advance declaration of the price for 50 per cent supply that would be available to state governments and in the open market before May 1.

Based on this price, state governments, private hospitals, industrial establishments among other institutions would be able to procure vaccine doses from the manufacturers. Private hospitals would have to procure their supplies of COVID-19 vaccine exclusively from the 50 per cent supply earmarked for other than the government 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, it said.

The release said that vaccination will continue as before in central vaccination centres, where vaccines will be provided free of cost to the eligible population as defined earlier — Health Care Workers (HCWs), Front Line Workers (FLWs) and all people above 45 years of age.

All vaccination 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, the Ministry said.

It said that the division of vaccine supply 50 per cent to Centre and 50 per cent to ‘other than the government of India’ channel would be applicable uniformly across for all vaccines manufactured in the country.

However, the Centre will allow the imported fully ready to use vaccines to be entirely utilized in the ‘other than the government of India’ channel, the Ministry said.

The Centre, from its share, will allocate vaccines to states and union territories based on the criteria of extent of infection (number of active Covid cases) and 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, it said.

Also Read: India To Have Five More COVID Vaccines By October, Sputnik V Expected To Get Emergency Use Nod In 10 Days

The government has also decided that the second dose of all existing priority groups– 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.

This policy would come into effect from May 1 and will be reviewed from time to time, the release said.

The Prime Minister said in the meeting that India is vaccinating people at world record pace and “we will continue this with even greater momentum”.

The release said that India’s COVID-19 vaccination strategy has been built on a systematic and strategic end-to-end approach, proactively building capacity across research and development, manufacturing and administration since April 2020. It said India’s approach has been built on scientific and epidemiological pillars, guided by global best practices, SoPs of WHO as well as country’s foremost experts in the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC).

India has been following a dynamic mapping model based on availability of vaccines and coverage of vulnerable priority groups to take decisions of when to open up vaccinations to other age-groups. A good amount of coverage of vulnerable groups is expected by April 30, the release said. It said that according to directions of Prime Minister, the Centre has proactively engaged and coordinated with stakeholders across the spectrum, from research institutes to national and international manufacturers and global regulators.

Also Read: Indian Medical Association Urges PM Modi To Start Vaccination For All Above 18 Years, Suggests Limited Lockdown

The strength of India’s private sector vaccine manufacturing capability has been strategically empowered through unprecedented decisive steps, from facilitating public-private collaborative research, trials and product development, to targeted public grants and far-reaching governance reforms in India’s regulatory system. According to PM Modi’s instructions, the government is in regular touch with each manufacturer, including having sent multiple inter-ministerial teams on site, to understand each one’s requirements and provide proactive and customized support in the form of grants, advance payments, more sites for production, etc to ramp up vaccine production. the release said. This has resulted in Emergency Use Authorisation being granted to two indigenously manufactured vaccines (Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech), and a third vaccine (Sputnik) that while presently manufactured abroad will eventually be manufactured in India, it added.

The release said that the Centre has roped in the private sector in the vaccination drive right from the beginning.

Now, as capabilities and processes have stabilized, the public as well as private sector has the experience and confidence to rapidly scale up, it said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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