Appointments and online registrations of citizens in the age group of 18 to 44 years is mandatory to get a coronavirus vaccine shot, the government said today and added that there will be no facility for walk-in registrations for this age group initially.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in a letter to his state counterparts, outlined the strategy and rules for the third phase of the vaccination drive.
Vaccination for everyone above 18 years of age will start from May 1. The government opened vaccinations for all adults amid a massive Covid surge in the second and more deadly wave of the coronavirus.
All eligible citizens can register for their vaccine from April 28 on the CoWIN website and Aarogya Setu app.
The Centre will continue to vaccinate those declared eligible so far - frontline workers, health workers and those above 45.
From May 1, vaccine prices for private hospitals will shoot up. The Health Secretary said that private vaccination centres must return any unutilized vaccine stocks till April 30 to the storage facility from where they were issued.
The state governments have also been told by the Centre to make a careful assessment of the potential for full utilisation of such vaccine doses up to April 30, before issuing any further stock to the private centres.
The Health Secretary, in the letter, also added that each private vaccination centre must declare the vaccine type, the stocks and the prices decided by it to be charged on the CoWIN portal for citizens to make an informed choice while booking an appointment.
The Serum Institute of India, manufacturing Covishield, announced that its vaccine would be sold at Rs 400 to states and at Rs 600 to private hospitals.
Bharat Biotech's Covaxin will cost Rs 600 for state governments and Rs 1,200 for private hospitals, the company said in a statement on Saturday.
The prices for the Centre would remain the same at Rs 150.