The Indian government has asked National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch a platform for electronic vaccine vouchers.
The new system will allow a person who can pay for COVID-19 vaccines to help others get inoculated at private hospitals through electronic vaccine vouchers.
"To promote the spirit of 'Lok Kalyan', use of non-transferable electronic vouchers which can be redeemed at private vaccination centres will be encouraged. This would enable people to financially support vaccination of economically weaker sections (EWS) at private vaccination centres,” read the revised guidelines issued by the government.
Here's everything we know so far about the e-vouchers:
What are e-vaccine vouchers?
The electronic vaccine vouchers, are prepaid recharges which provides an option to citizens to avail their jabs at a private vaccination centre.
This scheme has been originally designed to allow Indian citizens to buy COVID-19 vaccination vouchers for those who need the jab but cannot afford to pay for it.
With the help of these vouchers, hospitals will get the payments for vaccination instantly into their bank account. The system is introduced to eliminate the problem faced by providers in recovering payments from the government.
How will it work?
You can buy these vouchers online and show it at a private vaccination site, in order to avail a jab.
According to some reports, these vouchers will be approved by the Reserve Bank of India. NPCI seeks to deliver these vouchers as QR code to smartphones .
Who can avail them?
These vouchers can be bought by anyone who is willing to help an individual.
Employers will be allowed to purchase these vouchers in bulk. They can give these vouchers to employees for cashless vaccination. With the help of these vouchers, hospitals would get money instantly credited to their account.
Can you use this voucher at a government hospital?
No, these vouchers are only designed to be used at private vaccination centres. This is because the government has already made jabs free of cost at government hospitals.
Can you book an appointment using an e-voucher?
No, e-vouchers cannot be used to schedule appointments. It can only be used as a mode of payment at private inoculation sites.
You will either have to book an appointment online on CoWIN application or schedule an appointment offline by visiting a vaccination centre.
How much will an e-voucher cost?
The e-voucher is expected to cost the same as the price of a vaccine. Covishield will cost Rs 780 per dose, Covaxin Rs 1,410, and Sputnik V Rs 1,145 at private hospitals.
Can you gift a vaccine e-voucher?
Yes, these vouchers can be gifted to any person. For instance, if a person intends to get his house help vaccinated, he can give the person a voucher.
When can you start purchasing these vouchers?
The government has not given any specific date, but several media reports suggest that vaccine vouchers should be live on NPCI by mid July.