Centre has asked the states to involve the private sector to expedite the vaccination to a vast majority of eligible people.

As the entire country gears up to administer Covid-19 vaccines for those above 60 years and those above 45 years but with co-morbidity conditions from 1 March, the price of each shot is expected to be around Rs 250, another Rs 100 as service charge in the private sector hospitals and designated clinics in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
This price will be officially announced by February 28, once the Union Health Ministry announces a price for the entire country. After vaccinating around two crore health workers and frontline warriors in the last few weeks, the country gears up for the next round of jabs for a massive target of 30 crore in the coming four to five months.
Telangana has identified around 1,000 government health centres and hospitals and 200 of the same in the private sector for distribution of vaccines from 1 March. At the rate of 100 persons per day, the officials aim to vaccinate close to six lakh persons in a week of five days. A total 55 lakh persons in these categories would be vaccinated by the end of June this year.
All the states are readying for administering vaccine shots to these two categories of people and there is a coordination cell for vaccine doses distribution at Chennai. While the jabs are free in government run centres, it has been decided to charge a price of Rs 250 per dose, plus a service charge of Rs 100, per shot at private clinics. For two doses of vaccine, the private sector charges around Rs 700. Initially, the price was indicated to be Rs 500 per each dose, but the Centre has decided to keep it under the reach of the common man, sources said. Sources in the public health department of Telangana told this columnist that the actual price may vary depending on the suggested cost of the vaccine by the union health ministry. All those who cannot afford the vaccine were welcome to take it from the public health care centres, while those who can afford it are free to go to private hospitals, the officials explained.
The Centre has asked the states to involve the private sector to expedite the vaccination to a vast majority of eligible people. Besides, the private hospitals and clinics would reduce rush at vaccine centres. But, all the people who take shots from both the sectors would have to register their names, with some identity like Aadhaar card, voter card or driving license etc, with the Covin-2.0 application.
While age of a person would be decided by the Aadhaar etc, the co-morbidity condition of a person will be based on a certificate from a medical practitioner. A list of 16 ailments has been released to decide the co-morbidity of a person. The list includes heart problems, diabetes and blood pressure for 10 years, respiratory problems, liver or kidney failure.
The Centre and states are taking precautions that a person who gets the first shot would be given a second dose from 28 to 45 days. Once a person gets the first dose, the Covin app alerts her or him about the second dose along with the designated centre. After getting the two doses of vaccine, the recipients would be given digital certificates, which would be valid across the world. The Centre and states are aware of lukewarm response from the public for the vaccine in view of complacency among some sections of society due to declining number of Covid cases in some areas. But, the governments are wary of the growing number of cases in some states like Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Kerala for the last two weeks.
Maharashtra and Karnataka have clamped mini-lockdowns in some towns to contain the infections while Chhattisgarh imposed restrictions on inter-state vehicular movement. On the advice of the Centre, Telangana and AP have decided not to impose any lockdowns. But, these states may impose restrictions on entry of vehicles from the states where the cases are growing. Passengers coming in buses and other vehicles would be tested before allowing inside the state. From March1 onwards, the proof of vaccination might be insisted on those above the 60 years age group.
This is one way of increasing awareness among the public to go for vaccination. The Telangana government is also planning to rope in celebrities for running an awareness campaign on vaccination. The Telangana High Court, too, last week asked the government not to let down guard and continue testing and tracing in view of marginal increase in the daily number of Covid cases.