New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday (February 24, 2021) announced that people above 60 years of age will get the COVID-19 vaccine shots from March 1.
The Centre also informed that people above 45 years of age with comorbidities will also be vaccinated from the same date.
"From March 1, people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities will be vaccinated at 10,000 government and over 20,000 private vaccination centres," said the Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.
He added that the coronavirus vaccine will be given free of cost at the government centres.
"Those who want to get vaccinated from private hospitals will have to pay. The amount they would need to pay will be decided by the health ministry within 3-4 days as they are in discussion with manufacturers and hospitals," stated Prakash Javadekar.
This is to be noted that as of Wednesday till 7 am, 1,21,65,598 people have been vaccinated across India through 2,54,356 sessions, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. These include 64,98,300 health care workers (1st dose), 13,98,400 health care workers (2nd dose) and 42,68,898 front line workers (1st dose).
The world's largest COVID-19 vaccination drive for the first dose was started on January 16, whereas, the 2nd dose of coronavirus vaccination began on February 13 for those beneficiaries who completed 28 days after receipt of the 1st dose.
The vaccination of the front line workers started on February 2.
Earlier in the day, the Centre deputed high-level multi-disciplinary teams to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for supporting them in public health measures for targeted COVID-19 response and management, and effectively tackling the pandemic.
The three-member multidisciplinary teams are headed by Joint Secretary level officers in the Health Ministry. These teams will work closely with the states and UT administration and ascertain the reasons for the recent surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.
They will also coordinate with health authorities of the states and UTs for requisite COVID-19 control measures to break the chain of transmission.
The states have also been advised for regular critical review of the emerging situation with concerned District officials to ensure that gains made so far in COVID management are not lost.
The Centre has also written to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir which have been witnessing a surge in the daily coronavirus confirmed cases, along with decreasing proportion of RT-PCR tests and a rise in positivity in some districts.
In the letter written by the Union Health Secretary, he has exhorted Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to focus on undertaking aggressive measures to break the chain of transmission and to ensure that RT-PCR testing is amplified to flush out hitherto undetected cases from the population.
Meanwhile, India’s cumulative COVID-19 recoveries increased to 1,07,26,702 and the recovery rate now stands at 97.25%.
India recorded 13,742 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, which took the country's active caseload to 1,46,907.