Pay For Covid-19 Vaccine At 20,000 Private Hospitals; Get Free Vaccine At 10,000 Govt Centres
Union minister Prakash Javadekar announced that the centre will be partnering with 20,000 private hospitals and 10,000 government-run centres for the next phase of its inoculation program.
People can also choose whether to visit a government facility or a private clinic to get their vaccine shot. The difference is that they would have to pay for the doses in a private hospital. If they opt for a government-run facility, the vaccine would be free of cost.
However the exact charge to be paid in private facilities is not yet known but will be determined by the health ministry within a week.
The vaccination drive officially began in India on January 16 when frontline workers in health, defence, and law enforcement settings became among the first to be vaccinated. The people paid nothing as the government bore the expenses. This was the 1st phase of immunisation.
From 1 March onwards, senior citizens above the age of 60 and people with comorbidities above the age of 45 will be prioritised in the launch of the 2nd phase of vaccination drive.
The Vaccines Contenders in Question
There are 2 shots of a vaccine to be administered 28 days after the first one. Results can be expected only after 14 days of immunisation.
Currently the 2 primary vaccine providers in the country are Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine developer, and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech.
SII has rolled out Covishield and Bharat Biotech has developed Covaxin.
SII sold 1.1 crore doses of Covishield to the government at Rs 200 per dose. Bharat Biotech has sold 55 lakh doses to the government at Rs 206 per dose.
Which Vaccine to Choose?
People will not be free to choose which vaccine to take, as Health Secretary Rajesh Bhusan said that even in countries already beginning immunisation drives the patient did not get a say on which vaccine to be administered.
Dr VK Paul, member of Niti Aayog, reassured that customers need not worry about the safety or risk element of the vaccines which he believes are the safest and have little to no side effects or any significant risk.
The health ministry also said that those who do not want a vaccine don’t have to, as it is voluntary.
Covid-19 Vaccine Will Be Available In The Open Market By Year-End, learn more.