New Delhi, Apr 22 (PTI) State governments are free to procure anti-coronavirus vaccine doses from vaccine manufacturers as per the Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.
The ministry said this while refuting some some media reports that suggested the Serum Institute of India (SII) has contracted all its production till May 25, 2021 to the Centre, and therefore, till that date the state governments will not be able to procure vaccine from SII.
'These media reports are based on incorrect facts and are without any basis,' the ministry said.
In order to expand and liberalise the countrywide vaccination drive, the Union Government on April 19 announced the Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy which would come into effect from May 1.
A key feature of the strategy is that the 'vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to Government of India and would be free to supply remaining 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the other than Government of India channel,' the ministry said.
The state governments are free to purchase the vaccine doses from vaccine manufacturers, it said. 'Therefore, it is very clear that every month out of the total CDL cleared doses available with any vaccine manufacturer, 50 per cent doses would be available for other than Government of India channels,' it said.
From May 1, the present system of private COVID-19 vaccination centres receiving doses from the government and charging up to Rs 250 per dose will cease to exist, the ministry already had said.
According to the Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, COVID-19 vaccination will continue to be free for eligible population groups comprising healthcare workers, frontline workers and population above 45 years of age in government COVID vaccination centres which receive doses from Government of India.
Vaccine manufacturers would make an advance declaration of the price for 50 per cent supply that would be available to state governments in the open market before May 1.
Based on this price, states, private hospitals, industrial establishments may procure vaccine doses from manufacturers.
Private hospitals would have to procure their supplies of COVID-19 vaccine exclusively from the 50 per cent supply earmarked for other than Government of India channel. The price charged for vaccination by private hospitals would be monitored, it said. PTI PLB AAR AAR