New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced free anti-COVID-19 vaccines doses for people between 18 to 45 years of age from June 21 onwards.
Till now Centre was providing free vaccine doses to people of and above 45 years of age and healthcare and frontline workers while for those in the age bracket of 18 to 45, the States were procuring 75 per cent of doses and 25 per cent were reserved for private companies.
“From June 21, the Centre will procure all 75 per cent of doses for 18 to 45 years of category which the States were procuring and provide them free to the people,” Modi said while addressing the nation.
The Prime Minister said 25 per cent of the doses will remain reserved for private companies to buy but they can impose a service tax of Rs 150.
Modi stated that the earlier arrangements of giving room to States to buy the vaccines was granted as per their willingness but now when several States have raised difficulties and objections to such a process, the Centre decided to do away with the earlier system and purchase for everyone.
India started its vaccine drive from January mid onwards in phases and has so far inoculated 23 crore people.