Home / News / India /  COVID-19 vaccination for senior citizens, people with comorbidities starts from March

India will vaccinate those who are above 60 years age against novel coronavirus , starting from next month. People above 45 years of age with comorbidities will also get jab during the next round of COVID-19 vaccine roll out, union minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday.

The central government will rope in 10,000 government and 20,000 private clinics for vaccination commencing from 1 March. The COVID-19 vaccine will be given free of cost at government centres, Javadekar said.

Those who want to get vaccinated from private hospitals will have to pay. The amount they would need to pay will be decided by the health ministry within 3-4 days as they are in discussion with manufacturers & hospitals, Javadekar said.

India started nationwide coronavirus vaccine drive on 16 January. During the first phase of vaccination, the healthcare workers and frontline workers received COVID-19 doses.

The regulator gave nod to emergency use of two indigenous COVID-19 vaccines — Covishield by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech.

Covishield is highly effective vaccine against novel coronavirus," Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer, Serum Institute of India earlier mentioned. Researchers claim the vaccine protected against disease in 62% of those given two full doses and in 90% of those initially given a half dose.

Covaxin, has showed long-term antibody and T-cell memory responses (three-months after vaccination) in phase I volunteers, and tolerable safety outcomes in the Phase II trials, according to reports.

"Both the vaccines have been tested on thousands of people and side-effects are negligible. There is no risk of any significance," said Dr VK Paul, member of Niti Aayog.

The COVID-19 vaccination will be voluntary, the health ministry earlier stated. However it is advisable "to receive the complete schedule of the vaccine for protecting one-self against this disease and also to limit the spread of this disease to the close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers," the ministry said.

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