By Shalini Bhardwaj
New Delhi [India], June 8 (ANI): Top health experts and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) have welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement of centralised COVID-19 vaccination drive for all adults.
India will start administering Covid vaccines free of cost at government hospitals for adults from June 21. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said a major decision of centralised procurement of jabs for further free distribution and administration to states.
"It is an important move as we will have an extra boost for our vaccination program. The Centre's decision to manage 25 per cent of states' vaccination work will lessen their burden. Price capping will also benefit," said Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman and Managing Director, Medanta Hospital.
"This is a path-breaking announcement, it will give a big boost. More vaccines will come. Vaccines will prevent severity," said Dr Naveet Wig, Chairman of AIIMS COVID task force.
"This is a path-breaking announcement that more vaccines will come, they will prevent people from the severity of the disease. Vaccine science is evolving and they are safe," he added.
However, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also welcomed the announcement of centralised vaccination drive for all to be carried out by the Government of India itself.
"IMA is constantly and proactively supporting the vaccination drive initiated by the Prime Minister and in this unique moment, IMA will strive hard with the Government with all our man power to support and carry forward the vaccination to the door steps of every needy individual. With this altruistic initiative and by adhering to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour without letting our guard down, IMA is confident we will face the third wave positively and take our country out of the pandemic crisis shortly."
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation announced a centralized procurement system for Covid-19 vaccines, beginning from June 21, with 25 per cent of the procurement being made available for private sector, as well as free vaccinations for everyone above the age of 18.
"From Monday, June 21, in every state of the country, for all citizens above the age of 18 years, the Government of India will provide free vaccine to the states. The government of India itself will buy 75 per cent of the total vaccine production from vaccine manufacturers and give it free to the state governments," Modi said in his address that was televised.
He also announced a cap of Rs 150 on the amount private hospitals can charge over the cost of the purchase of the vaccine from the manufacturer. (ANI)