Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said that vaccine will be available for people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities from March 1 adding that the jabs will be delivered free of cost at government centres.
“From March 1, people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities will be vaccinated at 10,000 govt and over 20,000 private vaccination centres. The vaccine will be given free of cost at govt centres,” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
Announcing the next phase of India's vaccination drive, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said a proposal to this effect was approved at a meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The minister added that those who wish to get vaccinated at private hospitals will have to pay and amount will be decided by the health ministry in the coming days.
“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 and hospitals,” he added.
The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to healthcare and frontline workers in the country has crossed 1 crore-mark, the Union Health Ministry had said on Monday.
A total of 1,14,24,094 vaccine doses have been administered to 75,40,602 healthcare workers (HCWs) and 38,83,492 frontline workers (FLWs) through 2,44,071 sessions in India, as per the provisional report till 6 pm on Monday.
The ministry said 64,25,060 HCWs have taken the first dose of the vaccine and 11,15,542HCWs have taken the second dose. The FLWs have been administered the first dose. The countrywide inoculation drive was rolled out on January16 and vaccination of the FLWs started from February 2.
Four states and UTs --Lakshadweep, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan -- have vaccinated more than 75 per cent of registered HCWs and FLWs for the first dose. Eight states and UTs have vaccinated more than 75 per cent of the registered HCWs for the first dose. These are Bihar, Tripura, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier on Sunday, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of vaccine major Serum Institute of India urged other countries to be patient as they wait for the supplies of COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, as the company has been directed to prioritise the needs of India.
Apart from making efforts to meet the requirements of India, the company is also trying its best to balance the needs of the rest of the world, he added.