Anyone over the age of 18 can register for a COVID-19 vaccine as of Saturday, April 24, 2021, said Ram Sewak Sharma, chief executive of the National Health Service. The Hindu. However, they will receive appointments only after hospitals publish their schedules on CoWin, the nodal site to coordinate the vaccine drive.
On Monday, the Center announced that everyone over the age of 18 will be eligible for vaccination starting in May.
Estimates for India’s adult population range from 800 to 900 billion and discount those over 45 and the 130 million who have at least one dose – at least 500-600 million must register for doses by Saturday. Mr Sharma said the Center is “improving infrastructure” to accommodate these numbers.
Unlike the ongoing vaccination, where the Center is the sole buyer and supplier of vaccines to states, the May launch will also include doses independently purchased by states from vaccine manufacturers. It could also include shots of Sputnik V, the Russian vaccine authorized by the Central Drug Regulator.
However, both Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India are fulfilling existing commitments to the Center and said they are not able to significantly fill supply by July. It is also unclear when the first doses of Sputnik V will be available.
Under the existing arrangement, beneficiaries can register for a vaccine slot and choose a center closest to them. It is also possible to register on site. Currently vaccinations at private facilities are charged at ₹ 250. Those in government centers will continue to receive the vaccine for free, the Center said on Thursday. Going forward too, the Center will continue to purchase half of the approved doses of Covaxin and Covishield.
SII said it will charge states that make deals for them ₹ 400 per dose, and private hospitals at ₹ 600 doses. It currently sells, or fulfills orders, worth 210 million doses of vaccine at ₹ 150-180 doses. The prices quoted for Covaxin and Sputnik V are still unknown.