The COVID-19 vaccine will be given free of cost at government hospitals, while people will need to pay for it at private facilities
Private hospitals functioning as COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs) may recover a charge subject to a ceiling of ₹250 per person per dose, the Health Ministry said on Saturday. The Ministry released a list of 20 co-morbidities that enhance the risk of mortality from COVID-19, and now allow beneficiaries in the 45-59 years age bracket to avail of the vaccine.
India is all set to start the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination on March 1, which will cover those above 60 years and people who are 45+ years with specified co-morbid conditions.
Government CVCs will offer free vaccination for all and the Central government will bear the full cost of vaccination conducted by them.
“To ramp up the COVID vaccination capacity around 10,000 private hospitals can be used under Ayushman Bharat PMJAY and more than 600 hospitals under Central Government Health Scheme. Other private hospitals empanelled under State Govts. Health Insurance Schemes can also participate as COVID Vaccination Centers (CVCs),’’ said the Health Ministry on Saturday.
It added that the Health Departments of State Governments had already initiated a dialogue with these private hospitals so that they can be encouraged to participate in the drive as CVCs. A list of all these private hospitals has been uploaded on the website of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the National Health Authority.
All the private health facilities that will serve as government CVCs are required to follow strict norms of due process, quality and safety, including integration with the national Co-Win technology platform.
The Ministry has specified that all private health facilities must also have adequate space, adequate cold chain arrangements, adequate number of vaccinators and support staff, and adequate arrangements for addressing Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI).
“User Names and passwords will be provided to the private facilities to facilitate effective use of CoWIN 2.0 and in addition government will also do mapping of private facilities with the nearest cold chain points to ensure seamless flow of vaccines,” the Ministry said.
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan interacted with State Health Secretaries and senior officials of States/UTs on the vaccination of age-appropriate groups via video conferencing on Saturday.
The nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched on January 16 this year. Health care workers (HCWs) were given the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while Front line workers (FLWs) were included from February 2. So far, more than 1.5 crore vaccinations have been carried out.
“At the conference states were explained the three methods of registration i.e. Advance Self Registration, Onsite Registration and Facilitated Cohort Registration,” noted the Ministry.
It added that States have been informed that government health facilities will also be used as CVCs, and they include medical college hospitals, district hospitals, sub divisional hospitals, health sub-centres, and health and wellness centres.
“Geo reference maps with GPS coordinates of all these health facilities have been prepared that will serve as CVCs and these Geo referenced maps are being shared with the States,” said the Ministry.
It added that a simplified system of certifying people with 20 co-morbidities within the 45-59 years age group was also explained to the States. “The simplified one page certificate to be signed by any registered medical practitioner can either be uploaded on Co-WIN2.0 by the beneficiary while self registering or a hard copy can be carried by the beneficiary to the CVC,” said the Ministry.