People above 60 years of age and those more than 45 years having comorbidities will be vaccinated from March 1, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar announced on Wednesday.
They will be administered vaccines free of cost across 10,000 government centers. Meanwhile, vaccination will also be given at more than 20,000 private vaccination centers.
Javadekar said those who want to get vaccinated from private hospitals will have to pay. "The amount they would need to pay will be decided by the health ministry within 3-4 days as they are in discussion with manufacturers and hospitals," he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Union health ministry asked Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh to expedite the vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers so as to confer immunity in the shortest possible time-frame in the wake of a rising trend of COVID-19 cases and positively rate in some districts.
So far, a total of 1,19,07,392 vaccine doses have been administered. The beneficiaries include 64,71,047 healthcare workers (HCWs) who have taken the first dose, 13,21,635 HCWs who have taken the second dose, and 41,14,710 frontline workers (FLWs) who have taken the first dose.
While the countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16, the vaccination of FLWs started from February 2.