COVID-19 vaccination: Second phase of vaccination to be significantly different, to allow walk-in facility

Health Tips

The disease is not yet gone and super-spreading events are being witnessed, Dr Guleria said.Coronavirus vaccination in India: As India ramps up the immunization drive against COVID-19, an aggressive strategy for the second phase of vaccination would help in reducing the transmission, fatality rate as well as mutation, Dr Randeep Guleria, the Director of AIIMS, said. There is no official announcement regarding the people who would be included in the group of over-45 years having comorbidities. However, a report in IE cited Dr Guleria as saying that people who are at a higher risk of fatality due to the comorbidities would be prioritised.

The report quoted him as saying that specific groups of people are at a higher risk of dying due to COVID-19, including those having heart diseases, underlying cancer, diabetes, disability predisposing to severe pneumonia or patients who have got transplants done. He also said that keeping in view the increasing cases in several states, the next vaccination phase would be crucial. The disease is not yet gone and super-spreading events are being witnessed, Dr Guleria said, to battle which both vaccination as well as prevention measures are required.

He asserted that the vaccination would help in reducing mortality and severity of the illness. Moreover, it would also help decrease the number of people infected by the disease as well as its duration, resulting in lower transmission. Indirectly, this would also lead to lesser threat of mutant strains, because lesser cases would mean lesser virus replication and hence, lesser chances for a mutation to develop.

For the next phase of vaccination, walk-in facility would be available for eligible beneficiaries having photo identification documents. Not only that, volunteers would also be hired to aid economically disadvantaged sections in registering for the drive online and making an appointment.

The key difference between the first and the second vaccination phase is that in the first one, healthcare and frontline workers did not have to register, and bulk lists of beneficiaries had been uploaded on the government’s CoWIN portal. These beneficiaries also did not have the option of choosing the date and time of getting the vaccination shot, and just received an SMS specifying the time and session site for the jab.

This is set to change for the second phase, with the first step being the CoWIN app accepting individual registrations. The app would also become GPS-enabled, allowing beneficiaries to choose the location as well as the date for when they wish to get the vaccine dose administered, based on the slot availability. The GPS, meanwhile, would show beneficiaries the nearest centres for vaccination, even mentioning if the session site was public or private.

The beneficiaries in the second phase would also be allowed to get vaccinated in a state which is different from the one where they are registered as a voter. However, the back-end data on CoWIN app would be taken from the electoral roll and the database for Aadhaar, and once the beneficiary registers, the data would be matched with the back-end database. The beneficiary would be allowed to proceed only if the data matches.

Not only that, but the beneficiaries would also be able to update their current age on the electoral roll from the CoWIN app. The electoral roll and the claim of the beneficiary would be checked by the district magistrate and updated accordingly.

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