The central government of February 27 released the list of hospitals that states can choose to expand the vaccination drive under the second phase of COVID-19 immunisation programme.
The hospitals, which are either empanelled under the Ayushman Bharat-PM-JAY scheme or the central government health scheme (CGHS), can be used by states as private COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs).
Around 10,000 private hospitals are listed under the Ayushman Bharat-PM-JAY scheme, whereas more than 600 hospitals are empanelled under the CGHS.
The Union government has capped the cost of vaccination at the private hospitals at Rs 250 per dose. At the government-run CVCs, the doses would be administered free of cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The cost has been fixed to allow the private hospitals to recover their expenses, while also prohibiting them from exploiting the benefeciaries.
All the private health facilities which will serve as CVCs must follow strict norms of "due process, quality and safety including integration with the National Co-Win (CoWIn) technology platform, the Health Ministry said.
The second phase of vaccination, beginning from March 1, allows citizens aged above 60 and 45-plus with co-morbidities to receive the vaccine shots.