The union government has been supporting the efforts of states and UTs for an effective Vaccination drive under the ‘Whole of Government’ approach since 16 January this year.
Based on the various representations received by the union government, the vaccination for all adults above 18 years of age was opened with the onset of Liberalized phase-III of India’s vaccination strategy on 1 May 2021. Now with the aim to further universalize 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 Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said.
In immediate follow-up of the Prime Minister’s announcement of these changes in the Guidelines of National Covid Vaccination programme, the Union Health Ministry has placed an order with Serum Institute of India for 25 crore doses of Covishield and with Bharat Biotech for 19 crore doses of Covaxin. These 44 crore (25+19 crore) doses of the Covid-19 vaccines will be available till December 2021, starting now.
Additionally, 30% of the advance for procurement of both the Covid vaccines has been released to Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech.