New Delhi: As the second phase of Covid-19 vaccination would begin from March 1, with priority for those over 60, people over 45 can also get vaccine against the deadly virus by furnishing some medical certificate.
People who are over 45 with co-morbidities and looking to get Covid vaccination in the second phase, will have to procure signed medical certificate – attesting to the severity of the illness, said sources on Wednesday night.
Earlier in the day, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said in the second phase of vaccination priority will be given to those over 60 and those over 45 with co-morbidities. He said around 27 crore people would be vaccinated in this stage, of whom around 10 crore are over 60.
According to sources the list of what constitutes a co-morbidity will be finalised and released in two days, but may include chronic diseases of the heart, lung, kidney and liver, as well as diabetes, cancer, severe asthma, and mental or learning disabilities. It may also include people on immunosuppressants, those morbidly obese and those who had organ, bone marrow or stem cell transplants.
People who come under one of these categories would have to fill a single-page Yes/No form confirming their medical condition, and then get the form signed by a general physician. They must then present this form at the vaccination centre to get their shots, , said a source.
As per reports, in privately-run vaccination centres the price of the shot is likely to be capped at around ₹ 300, however at government centres the shots would be free.
Earlier, the government had said that it would use a mobile app – CoWin (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network) – to help the public register for their shots and locate the nearest vaccination centres. However, the app is currently restricted to “facility level users” or government employees and users.
As per sources, once the app is available to the public, users must register themselves with details from their Aadhaar card, upload a photo ID and then the signed medical certificate. They can then book a vaccination appointment at a nearby centre. People can also walk-in and get the vaccinations, so long as there are doses available and they fall in the eligible categories.
However, there is no clarity, as yet, on when registrations will start, but sources informed the format of the medical certificate will be circulated to the concerned states soon.
So far, Indian government has approved two vaccines for emergency use – Covishield (developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and manufactured by the Serum Institute) and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. A third – Russia’s Sputnik V – has also applied for emergency use and this will be considered by a SEC (subject expert committee). Sputnik V has an efficacy rate of 91.6 per cent, which is higher than Covishield’s 70 per cent, whereas, Covaxin’s efficacy has not yet been confirmed.
India as of this morning, has reported 16,738 new COVID-19 cases and 138 deaths in the last 24 hours. With the new cases, the coronavirus tally in the country has reached 1,10,46,914 including 1,51,708 active cases and 1,07,38,501 discharges. Maharashtra and Kerala are worst-affected states with over 50,000 active cases in each.