The second phase of the coronavirus vaccination drive will begin March 1, with priority given to people aged sixty and above, and those over 45 but with co-morbidities, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said Wednesday afternoon.
The shots will be administered at 10,000 government-run centres (where it will be free of cost) and 20,000 private centres. Charges for vaccination from privately-run centres will be confirmed in a few days, the centre said.
Around 27 crore people are expected to be covered in the second phase of vaccinations.
Dr Suneeta Garg, an advisor to Indian Council For Medical Research (ICMR), told NDTV yesterday that there will be segregation based on several criteria in that target group and that each sub-group will have separate inoculation timelines.
“For the general population, we will have to prioritise – we will first go for those aged 60 years and above, and then those aged 50 years and above. Along with that we will also vaccinate those suffering from comorbidities. We will also segregate them on the basis of the duration of non-communicable diseases – those who have chronic diseases will be given priority,” she said.
Ms Garg, who is also on the Lancet Commission’s Covid-19 India Taskforce, said those suffering from comorbidities like “diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases” will also be prioritised above people with other diseases.
She also said that the private sector will play a major in the drive.
In the first phase the centre had targeted the vaccination of around three crore healthcare staff and frontline workers.
However, as of this morning only around 1.19 crore people have been vaccinated. Of these, fewer than 1.5 million have received the mandatory second shot.