Narendra Modi Speech Highlights: Prime Minister Says Centre To Procure Vaccines For All

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Source: PIB)

Narendra Modi Speech Highlights: Prime Minister Says Centre To Procure Vaccines For All

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The Indian government will procure 75% of the Covid-19 vaccines and distribute it to states for free—a reversal of its earlier policy that asked the states to buy the doses for the 18-44 age group.

Effective June 21, the central government will procure 75% of the domestic vaccine supply and supply it free for those above 18 years of age, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an address today. The remaining 25% of the supply will be made available via private hospitals, he said.

From May 1, India had deployed a new vaccine policy that involved dual procurement for states. Vaccine manufacturers were to provide up to 50% of their supply to the Centre and sell the remaining 50% to states and private players in the open market.

As a result, states received vaccines from two channels, both controlled by the Centre:

  • Free doses from the central government to vaccinate those aged 45 and above as well as healthcare and frontline workers.

  • States and private hospitals procured doses directly from domestic vaccine manufacturers to vaccinate the population aged 18-44 years—but the allocation was decided by the central government.

Modi claimed it was states that had wanted to procure vaccines directly for more flexibility. However, he said within two weeks of May, states said the earlier policy of central procurement was better.

In light of the various challenges that states were facing in procuring vaccines, the central government will do it for them he said.

This will cost the Centre Rs 45,000 crore, that's over Rs 10,000 crore more than estimated in the union budget, said a government official who preferred to remain unnamed.

Modi's announcement comes a week after the Supreme Court asked the Modi government to do a fresh review of its vaccine policy. The top court had said that the policy for the 18-44 age group was "arbitrary and irrational".

The court had also noted issues concerning vaccine procurement, distribution and mandatory online registration for the 18-44 age group.

While today's announcement allows vaccination by private hospitals to continue with 25% of the vaccine supply reserved for them - they will be allowed to charge a maximum of Rs 150 markup on every dose as a service charge, Modi said.

The prime minister also said that in the coming days, supply of vaccines will improve. "Seven companies are producing different vaccines in India. Three other vaccines are in advanced stage trials," Modi said. "To improve availability, we have also accelerated process to procure vaccines from foreign manufacturers."

Watch the full address by Modi here.

PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana Extended Till Diwali

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, that provides free foodgrains for the poor, will now be extended till Diwali, Modi said.

  • Government wants to support the poor during the pandemic.

  • Till November, over 80 crore poor will get free foodgrains.

  • This initiative is to ensure no has to go bed hungry.

Modi Says Centre Will Procure Vaccines For States

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Centre will procure 75% of the countr's domestic vaccine supply and distribute it among states.

  • Till May, the vaccine drive was driven by the union government.

  • States wanted to procure vaccines so we agreed to allow them 25% participation.

  • Now they would rather the centre takeover the procurement.

  • From June 21, the Centre will procure vaccines and make it available for free for all adults.

  • Those wanting to pay for vaccines can still get their shots at private hospitals.

  • 25% of the vaccine supply will be made available for private hospitals.

Vaccine Supply To Improve In Coming Days: Modi

Prime Minister Modi said that vaccine supply in the country will improve in the coming days.

"Seven companies are producing different vaccines in India. Three other vaccines are in advanced stage trials," Modi said. "To improve availability, we have also accelerated process to procure vaccines from foreign manufacturers. A nasal vaccine is also in development phase."

Modi Claims His Government Has Improved India's Vaccination Programme

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his government launched Mission Indradhanush to boost the country's vaccination capabilities.

Earlier India had to import vaccines for other diseases, Modi said. However, now the country has two 'Made-In-India' vaccines, he said.

India has administered over 23 crore Covid vaccine doses, he added.

Covid Protocols Are Still The Best Defence Against The Virus: Modi

Prime Minister Modi said that social distancing, masks, vaccines and other Covid-related protocols continue to be the most effective way of tackling the virus.

"We continue to battle the second wave of coronavirus," Modi said. "Like other countries India has suffered too. This is the biggest pandemic in the past 100 years."

  • During this pandemic a new health infrastructure has come up.

  • In April, May India faced an unprecedented demand for oxygen.

  • We did our best to boost supply of oxygen and medicines.

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