Booster doses for all adults from today at private vaccine centres: 10 points

Covishield and Coavaxin prices have been reduced for the private hospitals in a huge relief for people in the 18-60 category seeking to get vaccinated. 
India Covid vaccine drive: More than 185 crore vaccine doses have been given in India since last year. (Reuters)
India Covid vaccine drive: More than 185 crore vaccine doses have been given in India since last year. (Reuters)
Published on Apr 10, 2022 06:48 AM IST
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All adults can get their third shot of vaccine against coronavirus - also being referred to as booster or precautionary dose - from Sunday at private vaccine centres. The government's big move to allow the third dose for all above 18 years of age comes at a time when at least two cases of highly transmissible XE variant have been reported in India, one in Gujarat and the other in Mumbai. The centre, however, is yet to give a confirmation. Covishield and Coavaxin prices were reduced for private hospitals on Saturday in a big relief to those seeking vaccination. 

Here are ten points on the important development in India's Covid vaccine drive: 

1. India began the world's largest vaccine drive last year in January and the allowing of booster dose for all adults - which was available to frontline workers and those above 60 so far - comes nearly a year after the vaccine drive accomodated all 18+ citizens. 

2. The booster doses will be paid for people in the 18-60 category and there should be a nine-month gap between the second and the third dose, the government has said. However, for those above 60 and frontline workers, the third shot is free. 

3. “Adding an extra layer of safety! Precaution Dose to be available to 18+ age groups from 10th April, 2022, at Private Vaccination Centres. All 18+ who have completed 9 months after administration of 2nd dose, would be eligible for Precaution Dose,” health minister Mansukh Mandaviya had tweeted on Friday, making the big announcement. 

4. Nearly 86 per cent of all Indian adults are said to have received two shots of Covid vaccine so far. Covishield and Covaxin are the two major vaccines that are being administered in the country. 

5. More than 185 crore doses of vaccines have been given so far across the country, according to official data. The government says enough vaccines are available with the states. 

6 Private vaccination centres can charge up to a maximum of 150 as a service charge over and above the cost of the third shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. 

7. "We are pleased to announce that after discussion with the Central Government, SII has decided to revise the price of COVISHIELD vaccine for private hospitals from Rs.600 to 225 per dose. We once again commend this decision from the Centre to open precautionary dose to all 18+," Serum Institute of India's Adar Poonawalla tweeted on Saturday. 

8. In a tweet, Bharat Biotech's Suchitra Ella also announced a price cut: "We welcome the decision to make available precautionary dose for all adults. In consultation with the Central Government, we have decided to revise the price of #COVAXIN from 1200 to 225 per dose, for private hospitals. (sic)" 

9. Last month, the government opened the vaccination for the 12-14 age group too. "More than 2.21 Crore (2,21,44,238) vaccine doses have been administered to 12-14 years age group so far," a health ministry statement read on Saturday. 

10. Across the world, several countries including China, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom have witnessed a worrying surge in cases driven by the Omicron variant. 

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Monday, June 27, 2022