Union Minister Prakash Javadekar announced the beginning of the second phase of covid-19 vaccination in a press conference on Wednesday. The second phase that would begin from the 1st of March allows vaccination for those above 45 and 60.
Second Phase Of Covid-19 Begins At March 01
From March 1, people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities will be vaccinated at 10,000 govt & over 20,000 private vaccination centres. The vaccine will be given free of cost at govt centres: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar#COVID19 pic.twitter.com/Rxhkkk8eSC
— ANI (@ANI) February 24, 2021
This is relaxing news for the public as the first phase was only meant for doctors and health workers. However, the news is not very relaxing as those preferring private centers for vaccination will have to pay for the dose.
Only those opting for government centers will receive a covid-19 vaccine for free said Prakash Javedkar in the conference. There are around 10,000 government vaccination centers across the country whereas the number of private centers is double that govt. center.
Vaccine Dose Will Not Be Free For All
Serum Institute developed Covishield and Bharat Biotech developed Covaxin are the two vaccines used in the first phase. Till now vaccination was not open for the public but soon health ministry will decide the price after discussing with hospitals and manufacturers.
On this, AIIMS director Randeep Guleria said the vaccine would not be very costly.
Talking about the first phase so far, around 1, 07, 67, 000 people have received the vaccine. Now, the preparation of adding 27 crore beneficiaries in the second phase is in progress.
As per the sources, all the health officials, state, and UTs have received the order to prepare for the second phase of the mass vaccination program. There will be cold-chain points across the states and would cater to the priority groups first.
Also, the states and UTs are advised not to store vaccines in buffer stock as four government medical store depots have enough doses for all.
The decision has come at a time when many states like Maharashtra are seeing a sudden rise in covid-19 cases. The state has announced a week-long lockdown to curb the numbers.
And not just Maharashtra, scenario is same for many more states raising the numbers to 13,742 new cases in India. Overall, there are 1,10, 30, 176 cases till now.