By Joymala BagchiKolkata (West Bengal) [India], February 24 (ANI): AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Wednesday termed the government's move to vaccinate people above 60 years and above 45 years with comorbidities "as a very good step" and the move to expand the vaccination ambit will also help in dealing with vaccine hesitancy.
He also indicated that charges for COVID-19 dose by private vaccination providers would be worked out to make sure that there is no misuse and there is no loss to the private sector.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday announced that people above 60 years and above 45 years with co-morbidities will be vaccinated from March 1 in the next phase of doses against coronavirus.
He said vaccination will be carried out at 10,000 government and over 20,000 private COVID-19 vaccination centres and vaccine will be free at government centres.
Dr Guleria said that vaccines both by Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute are not very costly and expressed confidence that everyone will be able to afford it.
"This will also encourage people to get vaccinated, the way they are comfortable. A lot of vaccine hesitancy will be taken care of by this," he said.
"The charges would be to just cover the overheads which the private sectors would need and it may include syringes and (cost of) human resources like it was done for the testing where charges were fixed to make sure that those are not misused, and at the same time, not a complete loss for the private sector. I am sure that the prices will be worked out," he said.
He said the need is to vaccinate as many people as possible.
"I think this is a very good step because we have to move forward and vaccinate as many people as we can, especially when we see an increase in the number of cases. A way out is to vaccinate more people especially those who are at a high risk of severe infection," he said.
The vaccination against COVID-19 was started by the government last month for healthcare workers.
Dr Guleria said the participation of the private sector in vaccination drive will provide more vaccination sites, "which will allow us to be able to vaccinate more people on a daily basis and it will increase the number of people being vaccinated".
He said India has a huge target to achieve in terms of vaccination. (ANI)