Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday announced that people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities will be vaccinated against coronavirus from March 1.Vaccinations would be available at 10,000 government and over 20,000 private vaccination centres.”The vaccine will be given free of cost at government centres,” he added.
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 said.
The vaccination drive will cover 30 crore priority population till July this year. Healthcare and frontline workers are the first to get inoculated, followed by elderly and people with comorbid conditions.
According to the health ministry, as on February 24, the vaccination coverage was 1,21,65,598 through 2,54,356 sessions.These include 64,98,300 HCWs (first dose), 13,98,400 HCWs (second dose) and 42,68,898 FLWs (first dose).
On day-39 of the vaccination drive, 4,20,046 vaccine doses were given. Out of which, 2,79,823 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 9,479 sessions for first dose (HCWs and FLWs) and 1,40,223 HCWs received second dose of vaccine.
The government’s announcement comes at a time when at least five states, including Maharashtra and Kerala, are witnessing a fresh surge in infections.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Union health ministry asked Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh to expedite the vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers so as to confer immunity in the shortest possible time-frame in the wake of a rising trend of COVID-19 cases and positively rate in some districts.