Centre’s Guidelines For Free Vaccines To States Welcome Move; Population, Caseload & Wastage Taken Into Account

    A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced free vaccines for all above the age of 18 years, Centre rolled out new guidelines for free vaccines on Tuesday. The guidelines take note of population, disease caseload, wastage of shots.

    A health ministry data in May pegged the amount of wastage of vials by each state — Jharkhand (nearly 37%), Chhattisgarh (30%), Tamil Nadu (15.5%), Jammu and Kashmir (10.8%) and Madhya Pradesh (10.7%). The Centre said that these states are reporting much higher wastage than the national average (6.3%).

    As a part of the new guidelines, within the population group of citizens more than 18 years of age, states/UTs can decide their own prioritization factoring in the vaccine supply schedule.

    By approaching the issue of vaccine allocation clinically, Centre has nipped in the bud any allegations of favoritism or vaccine apartheid. With this, transparency has been reinforced in the system while putting the criminal waste of vaccine shots under the spotlight.