Amid the deadly second wave of COVID-19 in India, the registration for vaccination of people above the age of 18 is all set to begin today on the Co-Win app.

Now, RS Sharma, the chairperson of an empowered committee on COVID-19 vaccination has said that people who are in the age group of 18-44 years can choose a vaccine according to their preferences at private centres. 

Speaking to CNN-News18, Sharma said, "The government centres will continue to vaccinate (beneficiaries with) whatever vaccines they are getting. And obviously, if they are giving the second dose, they will also have to ensure that the second dose is of the same vaccine as the first dose…Private centres will declare as to which vaccines they are (using for) vaccinating, and what the prices of those vaccines are."

For the unversed, healthcare, essential workers, people above 45+ did not have the option to choose between Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, the two vaccines being administered in India. 

"The CoWin portal will be able to show the prices and the vaccine types (at private centres),"  said Sharma, who is also the chief of Cowin platform.

It was on April 19 that the Union government announced that the third phase of COVID-19 vaccination in India will begin from May 1 and everyone above the age of 18 will be eligible to get the jab. 

In order to ramp up the coronavirus vaccination drive in the country, the Indian government on April 19 had announced a "liberalised and accelerated" Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination from May 1.

In phase 3 of the vaccination drive, vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 percent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the Government of India (GoI) and would be free to supply the remaining 50 percent doses to the State government and in the open market.

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