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As Centre opens up Covid-19 vaccine procurement, here’s a list of states that are ordering directly from manufacturers

The Narendra Modi-led government has announced that states can buy the coronavirus vaccines directly from manufacturers — who can release up to 50 per cent of their supply for this purpose at a “pre-declared price”.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 23, 2021 1:08:11 pm
People queue up at a healthcare centre in Raiganj, West Bengal, to get vaccinated. (Express Photo: Partha Paul)

As states scramble to get more Covid-19 vaccine shots to control the virus, various governments have stated that they will procure their own vaccines to get maximum people inoculated.

Amid a host of changes to the vaccination policy, the Narendra Modi-led government, earlier this week, said that states can buy the coronavirus vaccines directly from manufacturers — who can release up to 50 per cent of their supply for this purpose at a “pre-declared price”.

Manufacturers, however, have to supply half their output to the Centre, which will also release these doses, based on number of cases and wastage, to states via the Central Drugs Laboratory. The rest can be sold to the states directly — or be made available in the open market — at a pre-agreed price that will be decided after talks with all concerned stakeholders.

So far only Serum Institute of India has disclosed its rates — Rs 400 for government hospitals and Rs 600 for private hospitals.

The states which have decided to procure their own vaccine stock are:

Maharashtra

The Uddhav Thackeray-led government has started internal discussions about vaccine procurement from domestic manufacturers. Officials from the health department said the Centre has informed the state government that it would continue to provide vaccine stock for the 45-plus age group, but the state would have to do its own procurement to immunise people under 45.

People wait at a vaccination centre in Mumbai. (Express Photo: Pradip Das)

A total of 8.5 crore people in the state are aged above 18 years, of them about 5 crore are in the 18-45 years age group.

“It is this pool for which we will need to procure vaccines. We estimate about 50 per cent people would prefer to visit government centres for vaccination, and the rest may opt for private centres or no jab at all. Based on that, local purchases will be made,” a senior official from the health department said.

Kerala

The Kerala government has initiated steps to directly purchase Covid-19 vaccines from manufacturers. A high-level committee headed by the chief secretary has been constituted for talks with the manufacturers, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

People queue up outside a vaccination centre in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday. (PTI)

The decision came after a review of the Covid-19 situation in the state. “We have requested the Centre to provide the vaccine free of cost. We haven’t got any response from the Centre, but we are confident about a positive outcome. However, we can’t wait. If we wait until the Centre’s decision, it may be too late. Hence, the decision to go for direct purchase from the vaccine manufacturers,’’ he said.

Vijayan said whether it is the Centre or the state that ensures vaccine supply, what is most important is that people are vaccinated.

Goa

The Goa government, too, has taken a similar approach to get as many people vaccinated as possible to break the chain of transmission.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said his government, initially, will be ordering 5 lakh doses directly from the manufacturer. “Altogether over 15 lakh doses will be procured at a cost of around Rs 60 crore. The vaccines will be administered free of cost to people between 18 and 45. We are committed towards the welfare and good health of all Goans,” he added.

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