- COVID-19 vaccine will be free at government centres
- Involvement of private sector will increase vaccination, said Dr Guleria
- A way out of pandemic is to vaccinate more people: Dr Guleria
Kolkata: AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Wednesday (February 24) termed the government’s move to vaccinate people above 60 years and above 45 years with comorbidities “as a very good step” and the move to expand the vaccination ambit will also help in dealing with vaccine hesitancy. He also indicated that charges for COVID-19 dose by private vaccination providers would be worked out to make sure that there is no misuse and there is no loss to the private sector.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday (February 24) announced that people above 60 years and above 45 years with co-morbidities will be vaccinated from March 1 in the next phase of doses against coronavirus. He said vaccination will be carried out at 10,000 government and over 20,000 private COVID-19 vaccination centres and vaccine will be free at government centres. Dr Guleria said that vaccines both by Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute are not very costly and expressed confidence that everyone will be able to afford it.
This will also encourage people to get vaccinated, the way they are comfortable. A lot of vaccine hesitancy will be taken care of by this, he said.
“The charges would be to just cover the overheads which the private sectors would need and it may include syringes and (cost of) human resources like it was done for the testing where charges were fixed to make sure that those are not misused, and at the same time, not a complete loss for the private sector. I am sure that the prices will be worked out,” he said.
He said the need is to vaccinate as many people as possible.
I think this is a very good step because we have to move forward and vaccinate as many people as we can, especially when we see an increase in the number of cases. A way out is to vaccinate more people especially those who are at a high risk of severe infection, he said.
The vaccination against COVID-19 was started by the government last month for healthcare workers. Dr Guleria said the participation of the private sector in vaccination drive will provide more vaccination sites, “which will allow us to be able to vaccinate more people on a daily basis and it will increase the number of people being vaccinated”.
He said India has a huge target to achieve in terms of vaccination.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.