States to be given 5.86 crore free vaccine doses till June 15

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI:  The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday said the Centre will provide a total of 5.86 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses to states and UTs free of cost from May 1 to June 15. The Centre asked the states to prepare a district and vaccination centre-wise plan for the administration of the jabs till mid-June and publicise it to avoid overcrowding at inoculation centres.

According to the advance visibility provided by the Centre to states and UTs, a total of 5 crore 86 lakh and 29 thousand doses will be provided to the states under the central quota. Under this quota, while 70 per cent of the vaccine doses are to be used for the second jabs of the most vulnerable 45-plus population, 30 per cent is to be used for administering first jabs to those in this age group.

No vaccine doses supplied by the Centre, however, can be used for administering shots to the 18-44 year age group. In addition, as per information received from manufacturers of the Covishield and Covaxin vaccines, 4 crore, 87 lakh and 55 thousand doses are available till the end of next month for direct procurement by the states and UTs.

Last week, the government said it was supplying states with 1.92 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine between May 16 and 31 which included 162.5 lakh doses of Covishield and 29.49 lakh doses of Covaxin. On Wednesday, the Centre asserted that it has already shared a clear supply timeline with states till June and to ensure efficient and judicious utilisation of available doses for successful implementation of Covid-19 vaccination drive, states have been asked to prepare a clear plan for this period.

States have also been instructed to use multiple media platforms for dissemination of such a plan to enhance awareness among the masses. Also, vaccination centres have been advised to publish their vaccination calendar on CoWIN platform in advance.