New Delhi: More than 80 lakh vaccine doses, the highest in a single day, were administered across the country on Monday as the revised guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination came into effect, the Union Health Ministry said. India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage has reached 28.33 crore since January 16, it said. The previous single-day record was of over 48 lakh on April 1. In June so far, India saw an average vaccination of around 31 lakh per day. The average single-day vaccinations fell to as low as around 16 lakh in the first week of May when the country was witnessing the peak of the second COVID wave.Also Read - After Kerala, Another Southern State Witnesses Steep Spike In Covid Cases

“Today’s record-breaking vaccination numbers are gladdening. The vaccine remains our strongest weapon to fight COVID-19. Congratulations to those who got vaccinated and kudos to all the front-line warriors working hard to ensure so many citizens got the vaccine. Well done India!,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet. Also Read - PM Modi Rolls Out Academic Bank Of Credit, Other Educations Initiatives On One Year Of NEP

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Earlier in the day, PM Modi said that central government is beginning the ‘Free Vaccination For All campaign’ for every Indian from today. “The biggest beneficiary of this phase of India’s vaccination drive shall be the poor, the middle class and the youth of the country. All of us should pledge to get ourselves vaccinated. Together we will defeat COVID-19,” he said.

Guidelines revised

According to the revised guidelines, vaccine doses provided free of cost by the Centre will be allocated to states and UTs based on criteria such as population, disease burden and the progress of vaccination, and all above the age of 18 will now be eligible for the free jabs. Any wastage of vaccine will affect the allocation negatively, they said. The Centre will now procure 75 per cent of the vaccines being produced by the manufacturers in the country. It had earlier allowed states and private hospitals to procure 50 per cent of the vaccines following demands for decentralisation of the process. However, after several states complained of problems including of funding, Prime Minister Modi announced the revision of the vaccine guidelines on June 8.

25% doses to private players

In order to incentivise production by vaccine manufacturers and encourage new vaccines, domestic vaccine manufacturers are given the option to also provide vaccines directly to private hospitals. This would be restricted to 25 per cent of their monthly production, the new guidelines stated. Within the population group of citizens more than 18 years of age, states and UTs may decide their own prioritisation factoring in the vaccine supply schedule, the revised guidelines issued by the health ministry stated.

The states and UTs would aggregate the demand of private hospitals keeping in view equitable distribution between large and small private hospitals and regional balance, they said. “Based on this aggregated demand, the Government of India will facilitate the supply of these vaccines to the private hospitals and their payment through the National Health Authority’s electronic platform. This would enable the smaller and remoter private hospitals to obtain a timely supply of vaccines, and further equitable access and regional balance,” the ministry said.

Prices fixed

The price of vaccine doses for private hospitals would be declared by each vaccine manufacturer, and any subsequent changes would be notified in advance. The private hospitals may charge up to a maximum of Rs 150 per dose as service charges. State governments may monitor the price being so charged, the guidelines said. All citizens irrespective of their income status are entitled to free vaccination. Those who have the ability to pay are encouraged to use private hospital’s vaccination centres, the guidelines said.

(With inputs from PTI)