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Centre to give free COVID-19 vaccination from today; here's what you need to know

Under this policy, the Centre will provide COVID-19 vaccines free of cost to all state governments for inoculating population above 18 years of age

Centralised free COVID-19 vaccination policy has begun today. Under this policy, the Centre will provide COVID-19 vaccines free of cost to all state governments for inoculating population above 18 years of age. Prior to this, the Centre was paying for vaccination healthcare and frontline workers and for people aged above 45 years.

NITI Aayog member (health) Dr VK Paul said that due to the Centre's recent COVID-19 vaccination decision, there is likely to be a rise in participation of private sector and vaccination sites are likely to increase. "There will be a systemic flow of vaccines to the private sector as well. I am hopeful that in this way, there will be a lot of energy in the participation of the private sector and vaccination sites will increase," Dr Paul said.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the Centre will provide free COVID-19 vaccination to all above 18 years of age.

Also read: Centre to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to states for 18+ age group from June 21: PM Modi

Here's what you need to know about the Centre's free COVID-19 vaccination policy

  • Centre will procure 75 per cent of COVID-19 vaccine from manufacturers and distribute them to the states for free. Thus, states will not have to spend any money to purchase vaccines
  • 25 per cent COVID-19 vaccination-related work done by states will now be handled by the Centre
  • Vaccines will be available free of cost at all government vaccination centres
  • While the 75 per cent vaccines will be given to the states, the remaining 25 per cent jabs will be brought by the private hospitals for those willing to pay to get inoculated
  • Private hospitals can only charge Rs 150 as a service charge on COVID-19 vaccines
  • Maximum prices that can be charged for the three vaccines available in the country have been capped at-Covishield (Rs 780), Covaxin (Rs 1,410) and Sputnik V (Rs 1,145).
  • Though prior registration is not necessary, vaccinations carried out at private and public centres will be documented at the CoWIN portal
  • Beneficiaries can register themselves either on the CoWIN portal-www.cowin.gov.in or on the Aarogya Setu app and get full details on vaccines and vaccination centres

Edited by Mehak Agarwal; with agency inputs

Also read: Centre to procure 75% COVID-19 vaccines from manufacturers, 25% available for pvt players

Also read: Free vaccines to states to add Rs 10,000 crore cost to Centre, says UBS