Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan recently announced that vaccination in its first phase for priority group beneficiaries in all states will be free. “I appeal to the people not to be misguided by rumours regarding safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine. We will not compromise on any protocol before approving a vaccine,” Vardhan said underlining that vaccine hesitancy was an issue even when the country started polio immunisation drive, but “we must remember its success”.
In 1st phase of #COVID19Vaccination free #vaccine shall be provided across the nation to most prioritised beneficiaries that incl 1 crore healthcare & 2 crore frontline workers
Details of how further 27 cr priority beneficiaries are to be vaccinated until July are being finalised pic.twitter.com/K7NrzGrgk3
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 2, 2021
Here’s everything you need to know about India’s biggest vaccination drive and how to register yourself as a beneficiary:
Who will get the vaccine first
According to the recommendations of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) one crore health workers working with both government and private hospitals will be first in the line to be inoculated.
The priority group has been further divided into sub-categories as frontline workers, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) workers, nurses and supervisors, paramedical staff, medical officers, support staff and medical students.
All the data has been collected from the health care facilities and is being uploaded into Co-WIN, the digitalized platform to be used to effectively roll out and scale up the mechanism for Covid Vaccine Distribution System.
Two crore frontline workers employed with central and state Police services, armed forces, civil defence organisation, disaster management, home guard, prison staff, municipal workers, revenue officials working with Covid-19 surveillance and other associated activities.
Workers associated with state government and ministries of defence, urban affairs, housing will also receive the vaccination in the first phase
People aged above 50 years
This group will be further divided in people above the age group pf 60 years and people above the age of 50 years with co-morbidities. Latest electoral roll of Assembly or Lok Sabha elections will be used as a reference to identify population for immunisation.
Age will be calculated based on the cut off date of 1st January 2021 and anyone born on or before 1st January 1971 will fall under this category.
Areas recording high Covid-19 infection rate
States and UTs at their discretion can do priority phasing of vaccine roll out in geographical areas where the infection is high.
Population below 50 years of age with associated comorbidities based on the evolving pandemic situation like diabetes, cancer, hypertension, lung diseases etc and finally to the remaining population based on the disease epidemiology and vaccine availability.
How to register for vaccination at session site
Common Service centres need to be utilized for self-registration and identity certification of the general population. Self-registration module will be made available in the later phases of implementation.
Individuals can select the method of authentication from the following methods
Biometric: With this demographic details of the individual from name to a permanent address in Aadhaar card will autofill the platform.
OTP Authentication: An OTP will be sent to the registered mobile number with an Aadhaar card. If the OTP authentication is successful, demographic details of the individual as per the Aadhaar will auto-populate.
Demographic Authentication: An individual can also enter all demographic details manually i.e. Name, DoB, gender and select Demo Authentication. A green tick will appear confirming the same.
An individual interested to register will be required to provide photo identity from one of the following:
· Aadhaar Card;
· Driving License;
· Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour;
· MNREGA Job Card;
· Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs;
· PAN Card;
· Passbook issued by Bank/Post Office;
· Pension Document;
· Service Identity Card issued to employees by Central/State Govt./PSUs/ Public Limited Companies;
· Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR;
· Voter ID
Photo identity can either be uploaded on Co-WIN system (in PDF, JPG or PNG file formats) or can be pulled from the existing Digi Locker account of the individual
Once registered, date and time will be allocated for vaccination. There will be no spot registration facility and only pre-registered beneficiaries will be allowed to proceed with vaccination.
District Collector (DC)/District Magistrate (DM) with support of District Immunization Officer will link the sessions sites, vaccinators, supervisors and beneficiaries and decide the dates and time for conducting the vaccination session. Respective district administration will approve the beneficiaries for session and site allocation. Co-WIN has inbuilt monitoring and reporting mechanism.
How the sessions have been planned
An ideal session site should have three demarcated rooms/areas:
1. Waiting Room/Area;
2. Vaccination Room; and
3. Observation Room
How the Vaccination Team has been arranged
Every session will be managed by a 5 membered team with defined responsibilities:
Vaccination Officer-1: In-charge for pre-checking registration status of beneficiary and photo ID verification before entering the waiting room/area. Vaccination Officer-1 will be assisting in making queues/ crowd management
Vaccination Officer 2: In-charge of authenticating/ verify document in the Co-WIN system (Health / ICDS / other government departments e.g. election model)
Vaccinator Officer: In-charge of vaccinating the beneficiaries (Doctors (MBBS / BDS/AYUSH), Staff Nurse, Pharmacist, ANM, LHV).
Vaccination Officer 3 and 4: In-charge of crowd management, ensuring 30-minute wait, monitoring for any AEFI symptoms, guiding non-registered beneficiaries
Vaccination conducted at the health facilities – both government and private – where either a medical officer or a doctor is available is defined as a fixed session site. Schools and community halls will be outreach session sites while there will be special mobile teams for remote areas or migratory population and international border areas.
All COVID-19 vaccination sessions will be conducted from 9 am to 5 pm.