India rolls out booster doses of Covid vaccines at private centres
New Delhi: India on Sunday began administering precaution dose of COVID-19 vaccines to all aged above 18 years, who have completed nine months since the administration of their second dose, at private vaccination centres.
The Centre has told all states and UTs that the precaution dose will be of the same COVID-19 vaccine which has been used for administration of the first and second dose and that private vaccination centres can charge up to a maximum of Rs 150 per dose as service charge over and above the cost of the vaccine.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, who held an orientation meeting of all health secretaries of states and UTs on Saturday, also informed that no fresh registrations would be required for precaution dose as all due beneficiaries are already registered on CoWIN.
All vaccinations will mandatorily be recorded on CoWIN platform and both the options of 'Online appointment' and 'Walk-in' registration and vaccination will be available at private Covid vaccination centres (CVCs).
Private CVCs will maintain the vaccination sites as per the guidelines issued earlier by the Ministry of Health.
"They can charge up to a maximum of Rs 150 per dose as service charge for vaccination over and above the cost of vaccine," Bhushan had said.
"Administration of precaution dose will be homologous i.e. same vaccine type will be used for precaution dose which was used for vaccination of first and second dose," he had stated.
Healthcare workers, frontline workers and citizens aged 60 years and above, shall continue to receive precaution dose vaccination at any vaccination centres, including free of charge vaccination at Government Vaccination Centers, Bhushan had underlined.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 last year with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. Vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2 last year. The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on March 1 last year for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
India launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 years from April 1 last year. The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 years of age to be inoculated against the viral disease from May 1 last year.
The next phase of vaccination commenced from January 3 for adolescents in the age group of 15-18 years. India began administering precaution doses of vaccines to healthcare and frontline workers and those aged 60 and above with comorbidities from January 10. The country began inoculating children aged 12-14 from March 16. The cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has exceeded 185.70 crore, according to official data till 7 am.