Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, in a press conference on Wednesday, announced that the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination will begin from March 1. The Union Cabinet gave its approval for the phase 2 of COVID vaccination, which will allow people over age of 60 and those aged above 45 with comorbidities to get the jab in government and private hospitals.
Who will get vaccinated next?
The second phase of COVID vaccination will include armed forces and police personnel. In addition, people over 50 years and those under 50 years with co-morbidities will be vaccinated. The eligible recipients will be able to choose between government hospitals or private clinics to get the jab. There are 10,000 government and over 20,000 private vaccination centres.
In the case of government hospitals, the vaccine will be administered free of cost. In private clinics, patients will be charged for the jab. Details on the pricing of the vaccine will be revealed in the coming days.
"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," Javadekar was quoted as saying.
He said that the Union Health Ministry is engaged in talks with vaccine manufacturers and private hospitals to decide the charge for vaccination to all civilians.
India's vaccination drive
India's vaccination drive is the largest in the world. Currently, the total vaccinated persons has crossed 1.14 crore. The healthcare and frontline workers were the first ones to receive the jabs, since the drive was started on January 16.
India has approved two vaccines for emergency use in India, Oxford Covid-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute, and the indigenously-developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech. Over 11 lakh people have been administered two doses of COVID vaccines so far.
As the vaccination drive is in full force, COVID-19 cases have witnessed a sharp spike in the country. There were 13,742 new cases in the last 24 hours on Wednesday. According to the Health Ministry, 1,10,30,176 cases have been reported so far and a total of 1,56,567 deaths.