States can procure 50% of vaccine doses directly every month: Health Minister

Centre will continue to supply the other 50% free of cost, says Harsh Vardhan

Every month, 50% of the vaccine doses of every manufacturer would be available for direct procurement by the State governments and private hospitals while the government of India would continue to procure its share of 50% which it would send to the State governments free of cost, said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday following an interaction with State Health Ministers and Principal Secretaries/Additional Chief Secretaries of eight States/UT, according to the Health Ministry.

These eight States/UT are reporting a high growth rate in the number of daily cases, higher mortality, very high and growing positivity rate. These included Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Telangana.

The Health Minister highlighted the trajectory in these States/UT and brought attention to the consequent stress on the medical infrastructure, said the release.

On the vaccination drive, he said, “Vaccination is our big weapon in the fight against COVID-19.”

He said India is the fastest country globally to reach the landmark of 17 crore doses in 114 days. While 13.66 crore people have been administered the first dose, the second dose has been administered to only to 3.86 crore, he said.

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