National Affairs

Covid vaccines for those above 60 and over 45 with comorbidities from March 1: Government

People above 60 years of age and those over 45 with comorbidities would be given COVID-19 vaccination from March 1, the Union government announced on Wednesday. After a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said that under the second phase of vaccination, shots would be given at 10,000 government-run centres (free of cost) and 20,000 private centres. Charges for vaccination at privately-run centres would be confirmed in a few days.“The Health Ministry is in discussion with manufacturers and hospitals to determine the cost of vaccination to be made available in private sector,” said Mr. Javadekar. The Centre would buy doses and send them to all States for the government medical facilities. Around 27 crore people were expected to be covered in the second phase. Of this group, around 10 crore are over 60 years, Mr. Javadekar said. A senior health official told The Hindu that with the expansion of the vaccination coverage, the government would bring in sub-groups to ensure that the most vulnerable were covered first. Also detailed listing of the comorbidities and pre-vaccination requirements would be issued and strict surveillance and monitoring of those vaccinated would be done as part of the protocol. The first phase of vaccination started on January 16 and so far the cumulative number of doses administered to healthcare and front line workers crossed 1.23 crore on Wednesday, the Health Ministry said.

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