Bihar state gov’t of India to pay for COVID-19 vaccinations at private hospitals
New Delhi, Xinhua– The local government in India’s eastern state of Bihar has decided to bear the cost of COVID-19 vaccination at private hospitals, officials said Monday.
According to state run-broadcaster — All India Radio (AIR), the decision was taken by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during a meeting on Sunday.
“The government yesterday decided to bear the cost of COVID-19 vaccination at private hospitals of the state,” an official said.
Providing free COVID-19 vaccination to all was a poll promise made by the Kumar-led National Democratic Alliance.
The second phase of the COVID-19 inoculation drive began Monday across the country.
The federal government has priced the vaccine at INR 250 (3.4 U.S. dollars) at private hospitals but has kept it available and free of cost in government-run hospitals.
According to officials, registration for the new phase of vaccination will be done in three ways — self online registration, on the spot registration and cohort registration in which accredited social health workers, social welfare workers and local representatives will be roped in to mobilise a large number of people.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday morning took his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
India began the vaccination drive on January 16. During the first phase, healthcare and frontline workers were vaccinated and the exercise is still underway.
India’s health ministry Monday morning said over 14.3 million beneficiaries have been vaccinated across the country since the beginning of the vaccination drive.