New Delhi: The government has made it mandatory for the 18-44 age group to register themselves on the CoWIN portal and get an appointment for vaccination, saying walk-ins will not be allowed initially to avoid crowding and "chaos" at immunisation centres
However, those aged 45 years and above can still avail of the facility of on-the-spot registration to get vaccinated, officials said.
From May 1, the present system of private COVID-19 vaccination centres receiving doses from the government and charging up to Rs 250 per dose from people will also cease to exist and private hospitals will procure their supplies directly from vaccine manufacturers.
So effectively, From May 1, vaccine prices for private hospitals will shoot up. The Serum Institute of India, which manufactures Covishield, has announced that its vaccine would be sold at Rs 400 to states and at ₹ 600 to private hospitals. Bharat Biotech's Covaxin will cost Rs 600 to state governments and Rs 1,200 for private hospitals.
According to the Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, COVID-19 vaccination will continue to be free at government vaccination centres that receive doses from the Centre for eligible population groups comprising healthcare workers, frontline workers and people above the 45 years of age.
"While the Centre has liberalised the vaccination policy, it does not mean that vaccines will be sold in pharmacists or chemist shops in the open market," Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had clarified on Wednesday.
The price charged for vaccination by private hospitals would be monitored, he had said, adding, "The present dispensation where private COVID vaccination centres receive doses from the government and can charge up to Rs 250 per dose will cease to exist."