Revision in vaccine policy helps Kerala from spending Rs 1000 cr
Thiruvananthapuram: The central government’s decision to revise the vaccine policy has given temporary relief to the Kerala government. As the central government announced free vaccination to people belonging to the 18-45 age group, the state will not be forced to raise Rs 1000 cr for the vaccination exercise.
Earlier, the central government directed the states to purchase vaccine directly from the companies to vaccinate the 18-45 age group. But for keeping the promise of free vaccination to all, the Kerala government took the effort to raise fund for vaccine procurement.
As a first step to this move, Kerala initiated action to directly purchase 70 lakh doses of Covishield and 30 lakh doses of covaxin from the companies. A total of Rs 483 cr was allotted for this purpose.
After placing the order, the state received 8,84,290 doses of vaccine from the two companies.
Following the central government’s decision to revise the vaccine policy, the state cancelled the order with the companies.
Apart from this, the Kerala government also planned to procure 3 cr doses of vaccine from the global market. But the price of vaccine and other matters were not finalized as the tender formalities were delayed.
If the centre didn’t give vaccines, the state would be forced to allot nearly Rs 500 cr in the initial phase for the vaccination drive.
With the central government’s announcement on new vaccine policy, the health department decided to cancel the global tender.
According to the health department, 1,50,66,820 people belonging to the 18-45 age group should be vaccinated in the state.