COVID-19 Vaccination To Begin From March 1 For Citizens Above 60

Whether registration on COWIN is mandatory for receiving the vaccine was not clarified by the ministers in the press conference

Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar announced on Wednesday that COVID-19 vaccinations for people above the age of 60 as well as those above the age of 45 but having other comorbidities will begin from March 1.

The latest vaccination drive will be conducted across 10,000 government COVID-19 centers as well as over 20,000 private centers in the country. The government has decided to bear the vaccination costs for the citizens who choose to avail vaccination from the government centers. However, citizens choosing to visit the private centres will have to pay a small fee for the same.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is expected to furbish more details about the cost for vaccination as well as the process of vaccination. While it is publicly known that the electoral rolls were being employed to chalk up a list of eligible recipients for vaccines, the process, timings, and number of doses permissible on a single day still are unclear.

Furthermore, the list of comorbidities that are permissible by the Ministry also needs to be shared. The government has so far been a proponent of the COWIN application designed for the smooth functioning of the vaccination process. However, the COWIN app has been dogged by complaints, since India's vaccination drive began on January 16.

Whether a registration on the COWIN application is necessary for vaccination is still not known. Javadekar just announced the proceedings of the Cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The finer details have been left to the Health Ministry which is going to hold a press conference soon, a ministry official told BOOM.

India has so far vaccinated close to 1.2 crore health and frontline workers from which over 14 lakh have even received the second dose. Currently, Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin produced by Bharat Biotech are being used for vaccination in the country.

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