Modi announces free vaccines days after Supreme Court rap


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced that all citizens above 18 years of age will be administered Covid-19 vaccines free of cost from June 21.

The move comes days after the country’s Supreme Court criticized the Modi government’s vaccine policy as “arbitrary and irrational.”

Addressing the nation on TV, the Prime Minister said: “The government of India will provide free vaccine to the states from Monday, June 21, in every state for all citizens above the age of 18 years.”

He said the government will buy 75 percent of the total vaccine production from manufacturers and give it free to the state governments.

The rest 25 percent of the vaccines being made in the country will be provided directly to the private sector hospitals while they will be able to charge a maximum service fee of Rs 150 for a single dose after the fixed price of the vaccine.

“The task of monitoring it will remain with the state governments,” the Prime Minister added. No state government of the country will have to spend anything on the vaccine.”

It is a demand that a number of states have been making for a while now. Some vaccine manufacturers, including Moderna, have refused to take orders from state government.

He also announced that Covid-19 vaccine supply would increase in the country in coming days and trial for three more vaccine is going on.

“Due to the continuous efforts and hard work that the country has been doing for a long time, the supply of vaccine is going to increase even more in the coming days,” Modi said.

“Currently, seven companies are producing different types of vaccines in the country and trials of three more vaccines are also in advanced stages.”


Court calls India govt vaccine policy ‘arbitrary and irrational’