Ahead of the 30th June hearing in the suo motu Covid management case, the Central Government has filed an affidavit in the Hon’ble Apex Court because the Court had raised various issues about the Centre’s vaccination policy.
As directed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the Centre has filed details about vaccine availability from the five approved ones – Sputnik V, Zydus Cadila vaccine, Covaxin, Covishield, and Bios E SubUnit Vaccine.
The Centre estimated that around 186-188 crore doses would be required to dose the eligible population. While 51.6 crore doses would be made available by 31st July, around 135 crore vaccines will be made available between August 2021 and December 2021.
As per estimates, the Centre stated that it would vaccinate the entire eligible population by the end of 2021. It stated that the vaccination effort would get a boost if the government can procure vaccines from outside the country, but it is not feasible to provide details about it right now.
It was also mentioned that the Zydus Cadila vaccine might be made available to children between 12-18 shortly.
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The Centre also informed the Court that it had revised the policy under which states had to procure their vaccines. Still, the Center will now procure the vaccines and distribute them to the State free of costs, and any person above 18 years can get vaccinated.
On the digital divide issue, marginalised people cannot get themselves registered on the Cowin app; Centre stated that it had allowed walk-in registration; therefore, there is no digital divide now.
The Centre further stated that door to door vaccination was not possible, and it has adopted a near to home vaccination approach. It has recommended a community-based approach, and vaccines centres would be set up at housing complexes, community centres, nursing homes and school buildings.
According to the Central government, involvement of private hospitals was also desirable as 55% population goes to private hospitals for care, whereas 45% go to government hospitals.