New Delhi: As the third phase of COVID-19 vaccination is set to begin from Monday (March 1), NITI Aayog has promulgated a price range of Rs 300-500 which the private hospitals can charge for the two COVID-19 vaccines.
The proposed price range was decided in a meeting between Dr. VK Paul, NITI Aayog and representatives from Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech. However, the final call on the price range will be taken by the Union health Ministry.
"This would be the price the end-user would pay for a dose. It includes the service charge the private facilities can take from the beneficiaries," top official said. The service charges can be collected by the private facilities in order to meet their operational expenses.
As per the IANS reports, the government has been procuring SII's Covishield for around Rs 210 per dose while the cost of Covaxin is around Rs 290 for a shot.
The third phase of COVID-19 vaccination will cover 27 crore people, who are above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities. The third phase will be exercised at over 10,000 government and 20,000 private centres.
Meanwhile, only the people who will be getting vaccinated from the private facilities will be required to pay this amount. Those who want to use the government facilities will be vaccinated free of cost.
"One would not be allowed to choose among the two vaccines. However, they can indirectly go for their preference by selecting the centre they wish to be inoculated since the information of centres along with the vaccines they use will be available to the public," the official informed.
Earlier, the country had announced that it will halt vaccinations this weekend (February 27-28) to upgrade software used to coordinate its campaign, as it prepares to widen coverage. Indian government on Friday (February 26) said it will let people choose their coronavirus vaccination centres when the campaign expands in the third phase.
The Union Health Ministry on Friday revealed that more than 1.30 crore Covid vaccine doses have been administered so far in the country.