UPSC Courses

DNA banner


  • 13 June, 2021

  • 8 Min Read

India’s vaccination policy- Changes in vaccine policy for COVID-19

India’s vaccination policy- Changes in vaccine policy for COVID-19


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 7 reversed the Central government’s decentralised policy for procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, declaring that from June 21, vaccines for everyone above the age of 18 years would be procured by the Central government and distributed free to the States.
  • This ended the month-old controversial system of States being asked to procure vaccines for the 18-44 years age group at prices announced by domestic manufacturers and import vaccines through open tenders.

Why was the policy reversed?

  • The Centre’s announcement came after the Supreme Court on May 31 held that the Union government’s policy of not providing free vaccines to those in the 18-44 years age bracket was prima facie “arbitrary and irrational”.
  • Under the latest policy, the Centre said it will procure up to 75% of the doses of vaccines from manufacturers and will provide them free of cost to the State governments.
  • Private institutions can procure the remaining 25% of doses.

What is the state of vaccine availability?

  • Data on availability from individual manufacturers and supplies to each State have not been published uniformly by the Centre.
  • Amid reports of severe shortages in many States and the vaccination drive being suspended for the 18-44 years age group in a number of places, the Centre said on June 9 that thus far, over 25 crore (25,06,41,440) vaccine doses had been provided to the States and Union Territories through the free distribution channel and direct procurement category.
  • The court recorded the position on May 31 as follows: the production at the Serum Institute of India (SII), which makes Covishield, is being raised from 5 crore doses a month to 6.5 crore doses by July 2021; Bharat Biotech, the maker of Covaxin, will raise capacity from 90 lakh to 2 crore doses per month, touching 5.5 crore doses per month by July; availability of Sputnik V will go up from 30 lakh doses to 1.2 crore doses a month by July.

How has the pricing of vaccines changed?

  • For vaccination of these priority sectors, the two vaccines were initially sold to the Centre at special prices — ?200 a dose for Covishield up to 100 million doses, and ?295 per dose for Covaxin, with free doses of it provided to the Centre effectively reducing the price to ?206.50 each.
  • When the second phase of vaccination was launched on March 1, the Centre capped the price for Covishield and Covaxin at private hospitals at ?250 per dose.
  • Under the decentralised distribution of vaccines from May 1, this cap was removed and manufacturers announced differential pricing for State governments and private hospitals.
  • However, these developments were soon rendered moot by a widespread shortage of vaccines, and governments largely provided vaccines only to the 60-plus and targeted 45-plus categories.
  • Now, having taken over the responsibility of free vaccination for all age groups from June 21, the Central government has announced new prices for private hospitals.
  • They can charge a maximum of ?150 per dose as service charge and a GST of 5%, and with these, the maximum price for a dose of Covishield would be ?780, for Covaxin it will be ?1,410 per dose, and Sputnik V would be available at ?1,145 a shot.

What is the situation in the States?

  • According to data compiled by The Hindu, as of June 12, 14.9% of the population had got at least one dose of a vaccine, and 3.4% had got both doses.
  • Many big States had fully vaccinated only a small segment of the population as of that date: 51.2 lakh in Maharashtra, 45.1 lakh in Gujarat, 29.8 lakh in Karnataka, 22.2 lakh in Kerala, and 26.1 lakh in Andhra Pradesh. Single-dose coverage in these States varied between 88.7 lakh (in Kerala) and 2 crore (in Maharashtra).
  • The shortage of doses prompted many States to announce a partial suspension of vaccinations, particularly for the 18-44 years age group, and in some cases, for first doses.

Source: TH

Same-sex Marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954

Same-sex Marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 In response to a petition filed by two gay couples seeking recognition of same-sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act of 1954, the Supreme Court has served notice to the Indian Government and Attorney General. A two-judge panel led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud issued t

Periodic Labour Force Survey 2022

Periodic Labour Force Survey 2022 The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) was just released by the National Statistical Office (NSO). In metropolitan areas, the unemployment rate decreased from 9.8% in July-September 2021 to 7.2% in July-September 2022. What are the main conclusions of the PLFS (July–September 2022)? Unemp


CITES COP19 The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is holding its 19th Conference of the Parties (CoP19) meeting in Panama City. A second name for CoP19 is the World Wildlife Conference. What were the Conference's High Points? 52 suggestions that would change the laws gover

Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act

Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act The Union Government recently proposed 61 amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960. More on the news The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairy has prepared the draught Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, (Amendment) Bill-2022. The following are the draft's ke

Dispute on the Assam-Meghalaya Border

Dispute on the Assam-Meghalaya Border The killing of six people in an Assam police shooting comes ahead of the second phase of talks between the two states to resolve their boundary dispute, and there are fears that it will cast a long shadow over the talks. Background During the British colonial era, undivided Assam included moder


Search By Date

Newsletter Subscription
SMS Alerts