The Centre on Sunday said it was mandatory for those between 18 and 45 years to register themselves on the government’s Co-WIN portal or the Aarogya Setu app from April 28 for vaccination against the coronavirus, ANI reported. There will be no facility for walk-in registrations for beneficiaries in this age group.
On Monday, the Narendra Modi government announced a number of changes to India’s coronavirus vaccination drive, including making every adult eligible to get a shot starting May 1. At present, only those over 45 and frontline workers are being vaccinated against the disease. Under the new rules, the Centre will automatically receive only 50% of vaccines produced by manufacturers. It will allocate these to the states under a new set of criteria, including the number of active cases of the infection, wastage of vaccines among others. The remaining 50% can be acquired by the states directly or by private hospitals and industrial establishments, at a price.
In a letter to all states and Union Territories, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that each private vaccination centre must declare the vaccine type, the stocks and the price they will charge for inoculation for beneficiaries to make an informed choice while booking an appointment.
Appropriate changes were being done in the facility registration module of the Co-WIN website to include these details, Bhushan added. “On-site registration/appointments will be allowed only if any doses are left in the last opened vial(s) to minimise vaccine wastage,” the letter said.
Biotechnology company Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine will cost Rs 600 per dose for state governments and Rs 1,200 for private companies. Meanwhile, Serum Institute’s Covishield will be sold at Rs 400 a shot to state governments and Rs 600 to private hospitals.
In his letter, Bhushan also said that private vaccination centres must return any unutilised vaccine stocks till April 30 to the storage facility from where they were issued.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra and Rajasthan announced that they will vaccinate all its citizens against the coronavirus for free. The governments of Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Sikkim, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Haryana have also made similar announcements.
The decision to vaccinate all citizens above 18 came as India is struggling with a second wave of the pandemic. India reported 3,49,691 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, another record since the start of the pandemic in January 2020. The country also reported 2,767 deaths, also a daily record, amid an alarming shortage of medical oxygen and beds everywhere.
Several states of India are also facing a shortage of vaccine supplies. But the Centre has said there is no such scarcity.