XE variant remains at risk
Genome sequencing of the sample of XE variant of Covid-19 found from Gujarat is being done and its results are expected soon. A person who came to Vadodara from Mumbai has been found infected with XE Swarup. Earlier, Mumbai civic officials had said that a woman who came from South Africa in late February was found infected with XE in March but this has not been confirmed by the health ministry. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning against Xe, a new variant of Omicron, first detected in the UK, saying it may be more contagious than any form of COVID-19 yet. The XE format is a mixture of both Omicron’s two sub-forms, ba.1 and ba.2.
Free booster dose for above 60 years of age
The central government has said that people in the age group of 18 to 60 years will have to pay for the booster dose on their own, unlike both the earlier doses, it will not be given free of cost by the government. Free booster dose is being given to people above 60 years of age and free booster dose scheme will be applicable for them in future also. In June last year, the central government had fixed a service charge of Rs 150 at private immunization centers. The Center had said that the limit was fixed at Rs 780 for Covishield, Rs 1,410 for Covaccine, Rs 1,145 for Sputnik V. No private hospital can ask for payment at a higher rate. Private hospitals cost Rs 600, Covaccine Rs 1,200 and Sputnik V Rs 948 without GST. Biological E has said that its Corbevax will cost Rs 800 per dose and will be taxed separately.
Covishield’s booster dose will be available for ₹ 600
However, after the announcement of the central government on Friday, the vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII) said that it will give Covidshield vaccine for Rs 600 to those eligible for booster dose. At the same time, Bharat Biotech has not disclosed the price of booster dose of its vaccine. In the country, 96 percent of the population above the age of 15 years has received at least one dose of Covid vaccine, while 83 percent of these people have been given both doses.