Senior citizens above 45 yrs with comorbidities can now register on-site & get Covid vaccine

NEW DELHI, 26 Feb: As India gears up to vaccinate people above 60 years of age and those over 45 years with comorbidities against Covid-19 from 1 March, the union health ministry on Friday said the facility of on-site registrations will be available, so that eligible beneficiaries can walk into identified vaccination centres, get themselves registered and get inoculated.

The beneficiaries will be able to self-register in advance by downloading the Co-WIN 2.0 portal and through other IT applications such as Arogya Setu, which will list the government and private hospitals serving as Covid-19 vaccination centres (CVC) with the date and time of the available schedules.

All beneficiaries, regardless of the mode of access, will have to carry any one of the following photo ID document – Aadhar card, electoral photo identity card (EPIC), photo ID card specified at the time of registration in case of online registration (if not Aadhar or EPIC), certificate of comorbidity for

citizens in the age group of 45 years to 59 years (signed by a registered medical practitioner), employment certificate/ official identity card (either but with photo and date of birth) for HCWs and FLWs.

The beneficiary would be able to choose the CVC of his/her choice and book an appointment for immunization, the ministry said.

Vaccination will be free of charge at the government vaccination centres. Those taking the Covid vaccine at any designated/empanelled private health facility will have to pay a pre-fixed charge, it said.

The Centre shared this information with the health secretaries and MDs (National Health Mission) of states and UTs during a high-level meeting which was chaired by union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, along with Empowered Group on Vaccine Administration (Co-WIN) chairperson Dr RS Sharma, who is also a member of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of Covid-19 (NEGVAC) on the vaccination of age-appropriate groups through a videoconference.

The nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive was launched on 16 January. This is now to be exponentially expanded to the vulnerable age-groups – all citizens above 60 years and those within the age bracket of 45 to 59 years with specified comorbidities – from 1 March.

“The new phase of vaccination of age-appropriate groups will expand the Covid vaccination in the country manifold. With a citizen-centric approach, the fundamental shift in this phase is that citizens in the identified age groups, as also those healthcare and frontline workers who have been missed out or left out of the present phase of vaccination, can select vaccination centres of their choice,” it said.

Secondly, the private sector hospitals will be involved as Covid-19 vaccination centres to harness their potential to expand the vaccination capacities, it stated.

It was pointed out that all CVCs must be government-run health facilities, such as SHCs, PHCs, CHCs, Ayushman Bharat health and wellness centres, subdivision hospitals, district hospitals and medical college hospitals or private hospitals empanelled under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) and similar state health insurance schemes.

States and UTs were asked to ensure that private health facilities mandatorily must have adequate space for the vaccination process, as detailed in the comprehensive SOPs issued by the ministry, basic cold chain equipments, their own team of vaccinators and staff, and adequate facility for management of any AEFI cases for using them as CVCs. (PTI)