Centre to provide free vaccines for all citizens above 18 years of age

Following the sharp criticisms by Supreme Court, lower courts and Opposition parties over the Union Government’s coronavirus vaccination programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced that the Centre will provide free vaccines for all citizens above the age of 18.

The procurement of vaccines for those in the age group of 18-45 was so far being done by the states. The Centre will take over the process over the next two weeks.

The 25% quota of vaccines for those aged 18-45,that were being procured by states since May 1, will now be bought by the Centre from manufacturers.

The remaining 25% quota will continue to be procured by private hospitals, and those willing to pay for the shots, may opt for them.

Private hospitals can charge a maximum of Rs 150 as service charge, apart from the stipulated price of respective vaccines, says PM Modi.

India on Monday registered 1,00,636 Covid-19 new cases, pushing the infection tally in the country to 2,89,09,975 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. This is the lowest number of new cases in 61 days, reports said. With 2,427 deaths, the toll climbed to 3,49,186.