[YourStory Explainer] Here’s all you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in India
On January 16, 2021, the Government of India will begin Phase 1 of its COVID-19 vaccination drive, one of the largest coronavirus inoculation drives in the world.
In an address following a meeting with medical experts, health workers, and chief ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Centre would bear all the expenses for Phase 1 of the rollout. The recipients would include private and government healthcare workers, frontline workers, sanitation workers, defence personnel, and police and paramilitary forces. Phase 2 would focus on senior citizens and people with comorbid conditions.
With the much-awaited rollout set to commence, here is everything you need to know about how to register for the vaccine and what to expect after you register.
The two vaccines that are currently available are Covishield by the Serum Institute of India, Pune, and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech International Ltd, Hyderabad. Vaccination is voluntary.
How to register for the vaccine
The Government of India’s Co-Win app (currently in beta mode and not available on the Play Store or App Store) is the only way to register for the vaccine. At present, only healthcare workers have been registered on the app.
The app will help streamline the process by identifying and monitoring those who have received the vaccine. Having a photo ID is mandatory for the registration. The list of valid documents includes:
- Driving Licence
- Voter ID
- PAN Card
- Job Card
- Pension document
- Ministry of Labour and Employment Health Insurance card
- MNREGA Card
- Bank, Post office passbook
- Service ID Card issued by Central and State government to PLCs
- ID issued to MPs, MLAs, and MLCs
Once the registration is completed, an SMS with the date, time, and location of the appointment will be sent to the recipient’s mobile number. The details of the appointment and the submitted ID will have to be shown to the vaccination officer at the location. The vaccination officer will scan the ID, cross-verifying it on the app, and an OTP will be sent to the candidate via SMS. After administering the vaccine, the officer will update the app. The candidate will then receive details of the appointment date for the second dose in the vaccine course.
The recipient is required to stay at the centre for 30 minutes after getting the dose. In case of any discomfort of reaction, it is crucial to alert a healthcare professional at the centre. Wearing a mask, maintaining hand hygiene, and social distancing are mandatory while at the centre.
When will the vaccine take effect?
The vaccine comprises two doses administered 28 days apart. Antibodies will develop two weeks after the second dose.
Is the vaccine safe?
While both vaccines are cleared for rollout, it is advisable to stay at the centre for the mandatory 30 minutes in case of any allergic reactions or discomfort so you can be attended to by a medical professional. People with pre-existing conditions like cancer, hypertension, and diabetes are more vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus and must take the vaccine, and qualify for Phase 2 of the rollout.
While the Centre is bearing the cost for all those who qualify for Phase 1, there is no final clarity on what it will cost the rest of the public. A report in India Today estimates that Covishield will cost Rs 200 for the first 100 million doses, and upto Rs 1,000 per dose thereafter at private outlets. The Covaxin course is estimated to cost Rs 206 per dose.
When can we register?
Only two phases have been announced till now. There is no clear date as of now on when the vaccine will be available to the general public.
Edited by Teja Lele Desai