New Delhi: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said people above 60 and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities will be vaccinated free of cost at government hospitals from March 1.
Javadekar made the announcement after the Union Cabinet in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided to launch the third phase of the world's largest vaccination drive, which began in India on January 16.
"People above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities will be vaccinated at 10,000 government and over 20,000 private vaccination centres from March 1," Javadekar said while addressing a press conference. "The vaccine will be given free of cost at government centres," the Minister said.
The Minister further said that the private centres will charge for the vaccination and the rate will be decided in next three or four days. The decision came as cumulative vaccination coverage in the country has crossed 1.14 crore recipients.
The mega-vaccination drive was started on January 16 for the healthcare and frontline workers. India's drugs regulator in January this year approved Oxford Covid-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute and the indigenously-developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in India. Over 11 lakh people have been administered two doses of COVID vaccines so far.
Meanwhile, India on Wednesday reported 13,742 new with the overall tally crossing 1,10,30,176 as per the Health Ministry's latest figures. With 104 deaths amid the infection, the tally has touched 1,56,567.
(With inputs from IANS)