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Karnataka Yet To Receive Guidelines Regarding Vaccination Drive

Covid-19 vaccination for senior citizens and those above age 45 with comorbidities is set to be made available from March 1,2021 and Karnataka is still to receive guidelines regarding the same. Karnata government estimates that out of the population of 1.5 crore persons in the state, 1.3 crore who are above 45 years, will be vaccinated from government as well as private hospitals under their discussion with the Department of Family Welfare.

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Fixed charges as per instruction from the government will be levied by private hospitals and government facilities will be free of cost. The government is also preparing a list of beneficiaries in a booth-wise distinction. However, the state is waiting for guidelines from the Central government, informed a member of the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA). 

There is also a speculation that registration in the Co-WIN app will be made compulsory before inoculation just like it was for healthcare and frontline workers. It will be at the discretion of the public to choose either government or private hospitals for vaccination. It is estimated that all hospitals who are in association with the state government for Ayushman Bharat Arogya Karnataka health scheme will be part of the vaccination drive. 

Inclusion of private hospitals in the drive will help cover more number of people as well as take proactive steps such that hassle free processes can be ensured for citizens. Dr H Sudarshan Ballal, chairman, Manipal Hospitals, and member, Covid expert committee opined that it was the right approach of the government to include private hospitals in the drive as this would be sort of a social responsibility rather than a profit making drive. 

However private hospitals are yet to receive instructions on whether the government will provide them with vaccines directly or whether they have to procure it from manufacturers. They neither have clarity about which vaccine to use, whether to use Covishield or Covaxin they expect to receive clarity in the next two days. 

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