Aimed at promoting COVID-19 vaccinations among the public, a few state-owned lenders are offering higher interest rates on deposits, albeit for a limited period. Kolkata-based UCO Bank said it is offering 30 basis points or 0.30% higher rate on fixed deposits of 999 days for applicants who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. "We are also taking minor steps to encourage vaccination drives. We are offering UCOVAXI-999... for a limited period till September 30," a bank official said.
The Central Bank of India had also recently launched the Immune India Deposit Scheme with an additional interest rate of 25 basis points above the applicable card rate for those who have been vaccinated. The new product has a maturity of 1,111 days, the lender said in a release. "To encourage Vaccination under COVID 19, Central Bank of India launches Special Deposit Product â€œImmune India Deposit Scheme" for 1111 days at an attractive extra Interest rate of 25 basis points above the applicable card rate for Citizens who got Vaccinated," the bank had tweeted.
Meanwhile, the Union government on Tuesday said it has placed orders for 44 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Union government would take over the state procurement quota and provide free jabs to state governments for inoculation of all above the age of 18. These 44 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be delivered by their makers between August and December 2021, the Union Health Ministry said.
"In immediate follow-up of the prime minister's announcement of these changes in the Guidelines of National COVID Vaccination programme yesterday, the Centre has placed an order with Serum Institute of India for 25 crore doses of Covishield and with Bharat Biotech for 19 crore doses of Covaxin. Additionally, 30% of the advance for procurement of both the COVID-19 vaccines has been released to Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech," an official said.
The official said the Union government has been supporting the efforts of states and union territories for an effective vaccination drive under the "whole of government approach" since January 16 this year. Based on various representations received by the Union government, the vaccination for all adults above 18 years of age was opened in Phase III of the vaccination strategy beginning May 1. "Now with the aim to further universalise the countrywide vaccination drive, all citizens above 18 years of age can receive the COVID-19 vaccine doses free of cost at government health facilities," the official said.
The Union government will provide free coronavirus vaccines to states and union territories for inoculation of all above 18 years of age from June 21. Asserting that vaccine supply would be increased significantly in the coming days, the Prime Minister said the Union government has now decided to buy 75% of jabs from vaccine makers for free supply to states, while private sector hospitals will continue to procure the remaining 25%. The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has exceeded 23.59 crore, the health ministry said on Monday.
With PTI inputs