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Centre to facilitate vaccine supply to states, UTs for timely, equitable distribution to smaller and remoter private hospitals

States and union territories would aggregate the demand of private hospitals for Covid vaccines based on which the Centre will facilitate supply to these governments for timely and equitable distribution to smaller and remoter private

States and union territories would aggregate the demand of private hospitals for Covid vaccines based on which the Centre will facilitate supply to these governments for timely and equitable distribution to smaller and remoter private healthcare facilities, according to the revised guidelines issued on Tuesday.

Also, vaccine doses provided free of cost by the Centre will be allocated to states and union territories based on criteria such as population, disease burden, and progress of vaccination.

Within the population group of citizens more than 18 years, states and union territories may decide their own prioritisation factoring in the vaccine supply schedule, stated the Health Ministry’s ‘Revised Guidelines for implementation of National COVID Vaccination Program’ which will come into effect from June 21.

“Wastage of vaccine will affect the allocation negatively,” the ministry said.

As announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, the revised guidelines stated that the government will procure 75 per cent of the vaccines being produced by manufacturers in the country.

“The vaccines procured will continue to be provided free of cost to states and UTs as has been the case from the commencement of the national vaccination programme. These doses will be administered by the states/UTs free of cost to all citizens as per priority through government vaccination centres.

“Within the population group of citizens more than 18 years of age, states/UTs may decide their own prioritisation factoring in the vaccine supply schedule,” the new guidelines stated.

In order to incentivise production by vaccine manufacturers and encourage new vaccines, domestic vaccine manufacturers are also given the option to provide vaccines directly to private hospitals.

This would be restricted to 25 per cent of their monthly production, the revised guidelines stated.

States and union territories would aggregate the demand of private hospitals keeping in view equitable distribution between large and small private hospitals and regional balance.

“Based on this aggregated demand, the government of India will facilitate supply of these vaccines to the private hospitals and their payment through the National Health Authority’s electronic platform.

“This would enable the smaller and remoter private hospitals to obtain a timely supply of vaccines, and further equitable access and regional balance,” the guidelines said.

The price of vaccine doses for private hospitals would be declared by each vaccine manufacturer, and any subsequent changes would be notified in advance. The private hospitals may charge up to a maximum of Rs 150 per dose as service charges. State governments may monitor the price being so charged.

megha@medgatetoday.com

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