Private hospitals functioning as vaccination centres may give free booster jabs to staffers: Centre

The hospitals will have the option of offering the dose for free to their own staffers or at the stipulated cost, said the Centre.

Published: 06th January 2022 07:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th January 2022 07:48 PM   |  A+A-

A syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading

Image for representation (File Photo | AP)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday reiterated to states that the same Covid vaccine which was administered as the first two doses would be given as a precaution dose to healthcare and frontline workers, besides the 60 plus suffering from co-morbidities, whose inoculation begins from January 10.

In a letter to the states on Thursday, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that private hospitals that function as Covid vaccination centres will have the option of offering the third vaccine dose—being called precaution dose — for free to their own staffers or at the stipulated cost.

“They may choose to bear the cost and provide the precaution dose free of cost to their staff, who are eligible and due, or they may provide the vaccination and charge for it,” Bhushan wrote.

Under the national Covid vaccination programme launched on January 16 last year, more than 148 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far and while 91% of the adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, 66 % of 18 plus have been fully vaccinated.

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After vaccination for the 15-17 year-olds opened on January 3, over 17% of the adolescents — out of an estimated 7.4 crore — have also taken their first dose of Covaxin, the Covid vaccine permitted for them as of now.  

Bhushan wrote that the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization has recommended the administration of homologous vaccines for healthcare and frontline workers and elders (over 60 years of age) with co-morbidities.

He also said that the administration of precaution dose to all eligible healthcare and frontline workers of armed forces, special forces under the ministry of home affairs and the Cabinet secretariat may also be facilitated as was done during their primary two-dose vaccination.


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