The third phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive to include everybody in the age group of 18-44 will begin at five hospitals in Mumbai on Saturday, said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
“BMC will start the third phase of the vaccination drive on 1 May to inoculate the 18-44 age group in Mumbai. The vaccination will be conducted between 1 pm to 6 pm and no walk-in vaccination facility will be allowed,” the BMC said.
The civic body has listed Nair Hospital, BKC jumbo Covid Centre, Cooper Hospital, Seven Hills Hospital and the Rajawadi hospital to administer the vaccine doses.
“A total of 20,000 doses will be administered across these centres,” it said.
With vaccinations stopped in the city for three days due to inadequate supply, only those in the 18-44 age group will be inoculated on Saturday and Sunday. Those who are above 45 will be vaccinated whenever new vaccine stocks arrive, said BMC.
Several states have flagged concerns regarding the shortage of vaccines ahead of phase-3 of the vaccination drive.
Delhi, Odisha, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Punjab have said they do not have adequate doses to start vaccinating individuals in the 18-44 age group.
Some states announced the third phase of the immunisation drive in selected districts, while some announced vaccination for only those above 35 years of age.
At a press conference, Lav Agarwal, the joint secretary in the Union health ministry, said the states are coordinating with vaccine manufacturers for procuring the doses and the Centre is providing the required support.
“Vaccination will be launched tomorrow in some states which have already coordinated with manufacturers. Any new exercises or process takes time to pick up the pace and gradually more centres will be increased. The programme will stabilise in some time,” he said on Friday.
This is a paid programme unless the state governments subsidise it, Agarwal said, adding free vaccination of priority groups by the Government of India will continue.
To queries on whether private hospitals will be able to vaccinate those aged above 45 years, he said all priority groups such as the healthcare and frontline workers and citizens above 45 years shall continue to be eligible for vaccination free of cost from government Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs).
“As provided in the Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy document, all priority groups such as healthcare workers, frontline workers and citizens aged 45 years and above shall continue to be eligible for vaccination for free from government CVCs and on payment from private CVCs,” he said.
From 1 May, the types of anti-coronavirus vaccines and their prices will be displayed on the CoWIN portal for the citizens to make an informed choice at the time of booking an appointment at a private vaccination centre.
Vaccine manufacturers would make an advance declaration of the price for 50% supply that would be available to state governments in the open market before 1 May. Based on this price, states, private hospitals, industrial establishments may procure vaccine doses from manufacturers.
Private hospitals would have to procure their supplies of Covid-19 vaccine exclusively from the 50% supply earmarked, other than the Government of India channel.