New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the massive surge in coronavirus cases and exhausting medical infrastructure when the country is witnessing over 3 lakh daily COVID-19 cases, the Centre, earlier this week announced to expand the vaccination drive and allowed all adults above 18 years of age to take the two vaccines being administered in the country from May 1.

Dubbed as the world's biggest inoculation drive, the vaccination drive in India is currently aimed at inoculating people aged 45 or above and those aged 60 or above. Now, from May 1, all adults aged 18 or above can also get the vaccine jab at various vaccination centres across the country in the liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination.

In the third phase, vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the central government and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the open market. The government also said that the manufacturers would transparently make an advance declaration of the price for 50 per cent supply that would be available to state governments and in the open market before May 1.

In line with the announcement, Indian vaccine manufacturer, Serum Institute of India (SII), which is manufacturing Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, Covishield, announced the price of the vaccine for the third phase. As per the rates released by the SII, its Covishield vaccine will be sold for Rs 400 per dose to the state governments and for Rs 600 to the private hospitals. The price for the same vaccine has been fixed at Rs 150 per dose for the Central government.

What will be the price of the vaccine after May 1?

Currently, both the vaccines -- Covaxin and Covishield -- is being administered free of cost to people aged 45 or above and to those aged 60 or above at the vaccination centres of the Central government, while at private vaccination centres, the two vaccines are being administered at Rs 250, as the government had put a cap on the vaccine prices.

However, with the announcement of the expansion of the vaccination drive and the announcement of prices by the SII, the vaccine price for those aged 18 or above will increase. Those, who fall within the age group of 18 to 45 and wish to get the Covishield vaccines at private centres will likely have to pay Rs 600 and Rs 400 at the state government's vaccination centres. For people between 45 and 60, the vaccine price at private vaccination centres will remain at Rs 250 and free of cost at government vaccination centres.

List of states which have announced free of cost vaccines at state-run vaccination centres:

Uttar Pradesh: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday announced that all the citizens of the state aged above 18 years will get free of cost vaccine from May 1.

Assam: The Assam government on Tuesday announced free COVID-19 vaccination of all people between the age of 18 and 45 from May 1. The government also confirmed that it has placed an order of over 1 crore vaccine doses to successfully execute the proposed vaccination programme

Madhya Pradesh: The Madhya Pradesh government on Wednesday announced all adults above the age of 18 years would be provided free Covid-19 vaccination in the state from May 1.

Chhattisgarh: The Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh government on Wednesday announced that the state government will bear the cost of the vaccine jabs to all adults aged 18 or above.

How to register on CoWIN Portal to get the vaccine jab?

The central government on Thursday clarified that the vaccine registration for all those above 18 years will begin from April 28 on CoWIN portal. However, registration for those above 45 and 60 is going on at the CoWIN portal. Here are the steps to register yourself:

Step 1) Visit the official CoWIN website at cowin.gov.in

Step 2) Register yourself by entering your mobile number

Step 3) A one-time password (OTP) will be sent to your mobile number

Step 4) Verify the OTP and register yourself by entering all the required details. You would also need to upload a photo identity card

Step 5) Once you fill in your details, you can click on the "register" button at the bottom right to schedule your appointment

Step 6) Enter your pin code and click on "search". All vaccine centres will appear on the screen. Select one and schedule the date and time available as per your convenience

Step 7) You can add up to four members through one login. The CoWIN portal also allows you to reset your appointment

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan