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Centre places orders for 44 cr doses of Covishield, Covaxin after PM announces new vaccine policy
Centre places orders for 44 cr doses of Covishield, Covaxin after PM announces new vaccine policy

In a major development on vaccine strategy, the government on Tuesday placed orders for 44 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Centre would take over the state procurement quota and provide free jabs to state governments for inoculation of all above the age of 18. These 44 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be delivered by their makers between August and December 2021, the Union Health Ministry said.

According to the official note, the Centre has been supporting the efforts of states and union territories for an effective vaccination drive under the ''whole of government approach'' since January 16 this year. Based on various representations received by the Centre, the vaccination for all adults above 18 years of age was opened in the Phase III of vaccination strategy beginning May 1. 'Now with the aim to further universalise the countrywide vaccination drive, all citizens above 18 years of age can receive the COVID-19 vaccine doses free of cost at government health facilities.

The central government will provide free coronavirus vaccines to states and union territories for inoculation of all above 18 years of age from June 21, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday, announcing that the Centre will take over the 25 per cent state procurement quota.

Asserting that vaccine supply would be increased significantly in the coming days, the prime minister said the Centre has now decided to buy 75 per cent of jabs from vaccine makers for free supply to states, while private sector hospitals will continue to procure the remaining 25 percent.

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