Coronavirus | 18-44 age group may get COVID-19 jabs only through private facilities

Vaccination at govt. centres at States’ discretion; CoWIN registration mandatory.

The Centre has said that citizens in the 18-44 years age group would be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination at any private vaccination centre, and would need to be registered on the CoWIN portal when they become eligible for the vaccine starting May 1.

In a letter to States on April 23, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said: “Citizens in the age group of 18 years to 44 years shall be eligible to receive vaccination, on payment, from any of the private CVCs (Covid Vaccination Centres).”

Also read | Uncertainty looms over vaccine rollout for all above 18

He said those below the age of 45 would “also be eligible to receive vaccination from a Government CVC in a State/UT where that State/UT decides to lower the minimum cut off age for eligibility of beneficiaries to less than 45 years, for covering such additional eligible beneficiaries from the vaccine stocks directly procured by the respective State/UT Government from vaccine manufacturers”.

“Since, the cohort of eligible beneficiaries has been significantly enhanced, suitable arrangements must be made to avoid overcrowding and consequent law and order situations, at the vaccination centres,” he wrote.

With registration on the CoWIN portal opening for 18- to 44-year-olds from April 28, he added: “All vaccination slots at private CVCs will continue to be offered only for online appointment from CoWlN or Arogya Setu. On-site registration/appointments will be allowed only, if any doses are left in the last opened vial(s) so as to minimize vaccine wastages.”

Also read | Maharashtra to provide free vaccination to all citizens above 18 years

Vaccinations would remain available for frontline workers and citizens above the age of 45 years at government centres free of cost from the Centre’s quota of 50% of vaccines.

“The State/UT Governments, in the event of procurement of vaccine doses directly from the manufacturers, may decide to expand the coverage from the doses so procured to reduce the cut off age for eligibility for vaccination at the Government CVCs,” he wrote.

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