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Senior citizens, people above 45 with co-morbidities to get covid shots from Mar

Currently, over 10,000 hospitals, private and government, are being used to administer covid-19 shots in India. (File Photo: AP)Premium
Currently, over 10,000 hospitals, private and government, are being used to administer covid-19 shots in India. (File Photo: AP)

  • The government aims to administer shots to healthcare professionals, other frontline workers, people above 50 years and those with co-morbidities by August 2021, and the entire adult population, estimated at 80 crore, by the end of 2022.

NEW DELHI: Senior citizens and those above above 45 years of age, with co-morbidities will now be given coronavirus vaccine at designated government facilities and private hospitals from 1 March, the Centre said on Wednesday.

"The covid-19 vaccination will be available in over 20,000 private vaccination centres. The vaccine will be given free of cost at government centres," said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar at the Union Cabinet briefing, adding that those who want to get vaccinated from private hospitals will have to pay.

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“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 and hospitals," said Javadekar.

Currently, over 10,000 hospitals--private and government--are being used to administer covid-19 shots. Rajesh Bhushan, Union health secretary, had earlier said that of the 10,000 facilities in use for the coronavirus immunisation programme, at least 2,000 belong to the private sector.

The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for covid-19 (NEGVAC) had met industry representatives in November to assess the private sector's capabilities and capacities for procurement, distribution of the covid-19 vaccine and also inoculation.

According to a white paper submitted by Ficci to NEGVAC in December, India will likely require 1.3-1.4 lakh vaccination centres, 1 lakh healthcare professionals--as inoculators--and 2 lakh support staff/ volunteers for mass-inoculation of prioritised individuals, estimated at 30 crore.

The government aims to administer shots to healthcare professionals, other frontline workers, people above 50 years and those with co-morbidities by August 2021, and the entire adult population, estimated at 80 crore, by the end of 2022.

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