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    Nationwide COVID-19 Vaccination drive to be expanded from tomorrow to cover vulnerable age-groups

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    India is all set to expand the nationwide COVID-19 Vaccination drive from tomorrow to cover people above 60 years of age and those over 45 years with comorbidities against the coronavirus. The vaccination program was launched on 16th of January covering over one crore health care and front line workers.

    The Union Health Ministry has said, the facility of on-site registrations will be available so that eligible beneficiaries can walk into identified COVID vaccination centres, get themselves registered and get inoculated.

    The vaccine will be administered free of cost at ten thousand government hospitals to these groups while the cost of the vaccine at around 20 thousand private Vaccination Centres will be borne by the people. Private Hospitals can charge up to 250 rupees per dose for the COVID-19 vaccine during the Vaccination drive.

    The Health Ministry has said, the States has been given the freedom to use all private hospitals empanelled under State Government Health Insurance Schemes as COVID Vaccination Centres. The states can also use health facilities of all PSUs and all government health facilities as COVID Vaccination Centres.

    Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan interacted with Health Secretaries and Mission Directors of National Health Mission of States and Union Territories on the vaccination of age-appropriate groups through a video conference.

    During the meeting, states were explained about the three methods of registration which are Advance Self-Registration, Onsite Registration and Facilitated Cohort Registration. States have been explained that the private hospitals functioning as COVID Vaccination Centres can charge subject to a ceiling of 250 rupees per person per dose along with the electronic and financial management mechanism.

    User Names and Passwords to be provided to the private facilities to facilitate effective use of CoWIN 2.0, were also discussed during the meeting. In addition, the states were explained about mapping of private facilities with the nearest cold chain points to ensure seamless flow of vaccines.

    During the meeting, the 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 will be signed by any Registered Medical Practitioner. The certificate can either be uploaded on Co-WIN 2.0 by the beneficiary while self-registering or a hard copy can be carried by the beneficiary to the COVID Vaccination Centres.

    The government has also released the list containing 20 specified Comorbidities that will prioritized the individuals for the COVID-19 vaccination.

    They include Heart failure with hospital admission in past one year, Post-Cardiac transplant, Kidney and Liver transplant recipient or on wait-list, Leukaemia, Lymphoma, HIV infection, Diabetes and Hypertension on treatment and severe respiratory disease with hospitalization in the last two years.

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