Free COVID-19 vaccines for all above 18 from 21 June: 5 key highlights of Modi's speech
5 key highlights
Modi also stated that 25 percent of work-related to COVID-19 vaccination with states will now be handled by the Centre. The arrangement will be implemented in the coming two weeks

Prime Minister Modi on Monday announced that the Central Government will provide free COVID-19 vaccines to states for all above 18 years of age from 21 June. The Centre will take over the process over the next two weeks, he said in his speech to the nation.

"From 21 June, in every state for all citizens above the age of 18 years, the government will provide free vaccine to the states," the prime minister said.

Here are some of the other key highlights of the new vaccination policy announced by the PM today:s
  • The Centre to buy 75 percent of the total vaccine production from manufacturers and give it free to the state governments
  • The remaining 25 percent quota to be procured by private hospitals, and those willing to pay for the jab, may opt for them
  • Private hospitals can charge a maximum of Rs 150 as a service charge, apart from the stipulated price of respective vaccines
  • The 25 percent 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 Centre will take over the process over the next two weeks
  • The Centre to continue to provide free ration to 80 crore beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana, till Diwali this year
Modi's announcement to centralise the vaccination strategy comes days after the Supreme Court termed the Central Government’s vaccination policy "prima facie arbitrary and irrational". The court had also sought details on all purchase orders, as well as file notings on how the Centre arrived at the vaccination policy

The prime minister also hit out at Opposition states for indulging in "vaccine politics". “In the midst of decreasing coronavirus cases in the country, different suggestions started coming before the central government, different demands started being made," Modi said, referring to demands of decentralisation of the vaccine process by various state governments.

He also stated that efforts were made at war-footing to fight the pandemic at various levels. “During the second wave, the demand for medical oxygen in the country increased unimaginably in the months of April and May. Never in the history of India has the need for medical oxygen been felt in such quantity,” Modi said in his address. “To meet this demand, work was done on a war footing,” he added.

The prime minister’s address to the nation comes on a day India reported 1,00,636 new COVID-19 cases and 2,427 deaths, the lowest in 61 days.

Narendra Modi's last such address to the nation was on 20 April when he urged states to make all efforts to avoid lockdowns and use it as the last resort.


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