Despite allowing vaccination for all above 18 years, the Covid vaccine will not be available for sale at chemists or pharmacies. As per the government sources, only Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs) and hospitals are allowed to give the vaccines in the third phase of vaccination starting from May 1."All vaccination would be part of the National Vaccination Programme, and mandated to follow all protocols such as being captured on CoWIN platform, linked to adverse events following immunisation (AEFIs) reporting and all other prescribed norms."Stocks and price per vaccination applicable in all vaccination centres will also have to be reported real-time," the government said.A senior official explained that use of Covid vaccines are allowed under emergency licensure, therefore it cannot be allowed to be sold at retail shops. "It is important to carry out vaccination in a proper set-up. All hospitals and all CVCs, including the ones created at workplaces are linked with AEFI to ensure identification and investigate any adverse reaction," he said.
The Union Government is likely to issue an advisory for doctors and the general public on identification, investigation and management of AEFIs to outline specific symptoms that need to be investigated and managed post vaccination.While announcing the decision on Monday, the government said that everyone above the age of 18 will be eligible to get a vaccine against Covid-19 from May 1. The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The government had also said that vaccination will continue to be provided free of cost to the eligible population as defined earlier which include Health Care Workers (HCWs), Frontline Workers (FLWs) and all people above 45 years of age at Government of India (GoI) vaccination centres.The government had also said, "Based on this price, state governments, private hospitals, industrial establishments would be able to procure vaccine doses from the manufacturers. Private hospitals would have to procure their supplies of Covid-19 vaccine exclusively from the 50 per cent supply earmarked for other than GoI channel."In phase 3 of the vaccination drive, vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the GoI and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to the state government and in the open market.