While the vaccine will be given for free at government centres, it will be available for a charge, to be decided later, at many private hospitals
Everyone above the age of 60 and those over 45 with comorbidities will be able to get COVID-19 vaccines from 1 March for free at government facilities and for a price at many private hospitals, the Centre announced on Wednesday.
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.
Starting 1st March, senior citizen and people over 45 but with comorbidities, can get vaccinated at over 10,000 Govt. centers and about 20,000 private centers; Vaccination at all Govt. centers will be free: Union Minister @PrakashJavdekar pic.twitter.com/5ZBbqi1Ljc
— PIB India (@PIB_India) February 24, 2021
“While the vaccine will be given for free at government centres, it will be available for a charge, to be decided later, at many private hospitals,” the minister said at a post-Cabinet media briefing.
He also said that, thus far, 1,07,67,000 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 14 lakh people have also received the second dose.
Javadekar said that the first phase of vaccination was intended for frontline and healthcare workers, which is why the entire cost of the inoculation programme was borne by the Central Government. In the second phase, the government plans to foot the bill partially, making the vaccine doses available for free at 10,0000 government centres across the country so that those dependent on public healthcare facilities are not deprived.
Around 20,000 private facilities will also disseminate the doses at a cost, which will later be decided by the government.
The announcement comes amid fear of a second wave in India. In the past 24 hours, a total of 13,742 new cases have been reported, whereas 14,037 recoveries were registered during the same period. This resulted in a net decline of 399 cases in the total active caseload, according to the health ministry data.
Maharashtra reported maximum positive changes with an addition of 298 cases whereas Kerala has recorded maximum negative change with the subtraction of 803 cases, the ministry stated.
In the past week, 12 states have reported more than 100 average daily new cases. These are Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Telangana, Delhi and Haryana. Kerala and Maharashtra reported more than 4,000 average daily new cases in the past week, the ministry said.
Nineteen states and UTs which have not reported any COVID-19 death in 24 hours are Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chandigarh, Assam, Lakshadweep, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Sikkim, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Till Wednesday morning, the vaccination coverage was 1,21,65,598 through 2,54,356 sessions, according to a provisional report. These include 64,98,300 healthcare workers (1st dose), 13,98,400 healthcare workers (2nd dose) and 42,68,898 frontline workers (1st dose).
The second dose of COVID-19 vaccination started on 13 February for those beneficiaries who have completed 28 days after receipt of the 1st dose. Vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started on 2 February.
On Day 39 (23 February) of the vaccination drive, 4,20,046 vaccine doses were given. Of which, 2,79,823 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 9,479 sessions for the first dose and 1,40,223 received the second dose.
Of total 1,21,65,598 vaccine doses, 1,07,67,198 have received the first dose and 13,98,400 received the second dose.
The ministry said12 states and UTs have administered more than 75 percent of the registered healthcare workers (HCWs). These are Bihar, Tripura, Odisha, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, UP and Rajasthan.
Ten states and UTs have vaccinated more than 60 percent of registered FLWs. These are Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Rajasthan, Lakshadweep, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh.
India’s cumulative recoveries surged to1,07,26,702. The gap between total recovered cases and the active cases is constantly rising and stands at 10,579,795 as of today.
The ministry said 86.26 percent of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in six states.
Maharashtra has reported the maximum number of single-day recoveries with 5,869 newly recovered cases, while 4,823 people recovered in Kerala in 24 hours, followed by 453 in Tamil Nadu.
The ministry said 86.15 per cent of the new cases are from six states. Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 6,218. It is followed by Kerala with 4,034 and Tamil Nadu 442.
Besides,104 deaths were reported in 24 hours.
Five states account for 81.73 per cent of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (51). Kerala reported 14 deaths and Punjab reported 10 deaths. Thirteen states have reported 1 to 5 deaths; two states have reported 6 to 10 deaths; one state has reported 10 to 20 deaths and one state has reported more than 20 deaths.
With inputs from PTI