Written by: Sameer Pendharker
The Covid-19 vaccination drive in India started in mid-January 2021. After the first phase, which was meant for healthcare workers and frontline workers, the country has entered the second phase of vaccination. As vaccinations are now open for a much wider section of citizens, it is important that we know the who, where, how and when of the Covid-19 vaccination process in India.
The second phase of vaccination began on March 1, 2021. People eligible for this phase are: (a) All citizens above 60 years of age or above as of January 1, 2021; (b) All citizens aged between 45-59 years and suffering from Covid co-morbidities. Those in the ‘b’ category will have to show a co-morbidities certificate given by a registered medical practitioner.
The list of specified co-morbidities and the format for co-morbidity certificate can be found in Annexure 1 of the guidance document released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GoI.
Covid-19 vaccination centres can be either government health facilities or private health facilities empaneled under the PMJAY, CGHS or under any health insurance schemes of state/UT governments.
The vaccination is free of cost at the government centres. At private facilities, however, there will be a fee of not more than Rs 250 per shot.
Registration of eligible citizens will take place in one of the following three ways:
Citizens can get themselves registered using COWIN 2.0 or Aarogya Setu app. One has to follow the steps mentioned below:
a. Register yourself on the Cowin portal through your mobile number. OTP verification will be done at this step.
b. Enter details on the app.
Features to add/edit beneficiaries, names, preferred identity cards, etc. have been provided within the app. One has to enter their preferred ID-card type, ID card number, name, birth year and gender for each beneficiary added to the account.
Eligible IDs are Aadhaar card/letter, electoral photo identity card, passport, driving license, PAN card, NPR smart card and pension document with a photograph.
A maximum of four beneficiaries can be registered with one mobile number. Each beneficiary added from a single mobile number will require their own, separate identity card.
c. Book an appointment.
All Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs) and their available time slots will be shown on the app. Users have to select the centre and time slot of their convenient time slot from the available ones.
Once the booking for the first shot is completed, the second shot will be automatically booked on 29 days after the first shot; for the same time slot as the first shot).
2. On-site Registration
This is for those who do not have easy access to smartphones and/or the internet. Such persons can directly go to any recognised Covid vaccination centre and get themselves registered on-site. The first dose of vaccination will also be administered then and there.
There will be special slots announced by competent governments for this process and online registrations will not be allowed during these special slots.
3. Facilitated Cohort Registration
In this method, the State and UT governments are expected to make efforts to get people registered. This is for those sections of the population who may not be fully aware of the ongoing vaccination drive. ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, Panchayat members and women Self-Help Groups will be used for proper mobilisation of the target population.
At the vaccination centre, first the registered citizens’ identity will be verified. One has to carry their Aadhaar card and the preferred Identity Card (mentioned while registering on the app). Once verification is done, the vaccine will be imparted.
Note: One cannot choose among the two vaccines Covaxin and Covishield. Whichever is available will be administered.
In most cases, the side-effects, if any, will be mild in nature. These include mild fever, tiredness, nausea, itching or rashes, vomiting, fatigue, and mild weakness in the injected arm. In case of any extreme symptoms (which are rare), one must immediately report to a doctor.
It has been observed that the vaccine takes some time to develop anti-bodies after both doses of the vaccine have been administered (typically two weeks after the second dose). The time taken to develop anti-bodies may vary from person to person. Therefore, one must continue taking all the necessary precautions even after getting vaccinated.
The safety of vaccines on patients of certain types is yet to be tested. Therefore, one must avoid taking vaccines if they have severe allergic disorders, bleeding disorders or are immune-compromised. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are also advised to not undergo vaccination for Covid-19.
Citizen Registration and Appointment for Vaccination | User Manual | By Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI
Co-morbidity Certificate | Annexure 1 | Guidance Note for COWIN 2.0 | By Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI
Fact Sheet For Vaccine Recipient | Covishield | Serum Institute of India
Fact Sheet For Vaccine Recipients & Caregivers | Covaxin | Bharat Biotech International Limited
Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19 Vaccine | By Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI
Note: To be updated about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) around the globe and other interesting initiatives, you may follow Be a Bridge for Change on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Medium and Youth Ki Awaaz.