Guwahati: Assam health department is likely to involve around 146 private hospitals for COVID-19 vaccination once the exercise moves on to its next phase to start vaccination for people above the age of 50.

According to health department sources, there are about 60 lakh persons in Assam above 50. It would be difficult to complete the COVID-19 vaccination without involving private hospitals, as government facilities are limited, the source added. 

Additionally, these 146 private hospitals are among those who are already empanelled with Ayushman Bharat and partnering in other government health schemes. The 53 Government of India hospitals and 162 Government of Assam hospitals will also serve as vaccination sites.

This development comes a day after the state announced March 1 as the tentative date for the vaccination process of people over 50. As per health department officials, people falling in that age-group can register on CoWin app starting from March 1. Additionally, public vaccination is likely to be launched on March 7.

Samir Kumar Sinha, IAS, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Government of Assam, explained the rationale for vaccinating prioritised groups on Tuesday. He said, “The Government of India has undertaken a phased-wise approach for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. After the healthcare and frontline workers, the third phase of the process will focus on people over 50 years of age, and then those below 50 years with existing co-morbidities.”

He also mentioned that Assam planned to achieve 100% coverage of all healthcare workers by February 28.

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