Private health centers may collect “service fees” from beneficiaries to cover their operating expenses (syringes, needles, labor, etc.) during the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. A service charge of Rs 100 will be added to the cost of vaccines. Private centers will not be allowed to charge more than 100 rupees (plus the cost of the vaccine) to beneficiaries.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said those who visit government centers will receive the vaccine free of charge. Although there is no official word from the government yet, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria told ANI: “The cost of the COVID-19 vaccine would only cover the overhead costs of which the private sector would need Some of these may include the cost of syringes and human resources as has been done for testing where fees have been set to ensure they are not misused and nor does the private sector suffer a loss.
According to health experts, the government is in the process of determining the wise cost of vaccines. Since Covaxin is more expensive than Covishield, the government is concerned that beneficiaries will avoid Covaxin due to its higher price.
“The second phase of the largest vaccination campaign in the world will start from Monday, during which anyone over 60, which cannot be less than 10 million people in the country, and 45 and more with co-morbidities, will receive vaccines at 10,000 government medical facilities and also more than 20,000 private hospitals,” Javadekar said. The second phase of vaccination will also include armed forces officials, police officers and vulnerable groups .
Meanwhile, the coronavirus vaccination campaign will not take place on Saturday (February 27) and Sunday (February 28) as the CoWIN platform will be upgraded from CoWIN 1.0 to CoWIN 2.0 due to technical issues in the platform.
(With contributions from the agency)
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