The government announced today that 44 crore doses of Covid vaccinations will be made accessible to the country starting in August, despite a severe shortage that has caused the closure of vaccine centers in numerous regions. The Union Health Ministry stated that these doses will be administered between August and December 2021.
The announcement by the health ministry, which stated that orders for 25 crore doses of Covishield and 19 crore doses of Covaxin had been placed in order to achieve universal immunization, came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a new vaccine strategy.
The new policy shifts the burden of vaccine buying back to the states. The finance ministry announced today that the new initiative will cost about 50,000 crores and that the government has the funds to implement it.
Last week, the government announced that it has reserved 30 crore doses of Biological-Covid E’s vaccine, which is currently undergoing clinical trials in Hyderabad.
As the second wave of the coronavirus swept the country, exposing enormous flaws in the healthcare system, particularly in rural regions, the procurement issue became a hot topic.
The vaccine program was harshly criticized by the Supreme Court, which dubbed it “prima facie arbitrary and unreasonable” and demanded a roadmap for the future. The judges made it clear that a rerun was in order.
“Let me tell you from my experience as a Judge,” Justice Chandrachud had stated, “the capacity to admit you’re wrong is not a show of weakness, but a sign of strength.”
The Centre has frequently blamed the states for the botched vaccine program in May, claiming that the states wanted to buy the vaccines and that the government was powerless to reject them due to the federal structure.
“Many states demanded decentralized immunizations. Some even questioned whether particular age groups, such as the elderly, should be prioritized “In his address to the country last evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked.
The government and its representatives communicated with the media several times today, both on and off the record, regarding the actions being taken to improve vaccination availability.