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Everything You Wanted to Know About COVID-19 Vaccination

India's COVID-19 vaccination is one of the biggest vaccine drives across the globe. Healthcare workers will be the first to get vaccinated.

12 Jan 2021

India has started its COVID-19 vaccination drive on 16th January, with healthcare workers getting the first jabs.

2021 started on a promising note with the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approving two vaccines for coronavirus for restricted emergency use. This news brought a sigh of relief, given the virus's toll on all of us last year. With India starting one of the biggest vaccination drives globally, here are some of the finer aspects that you should know.

Who Will Get Priority in the COVID-19 Vaccination Drive?

Given our country's vast population, administering the Covid vaccine to all is undoubtedly a challenging task. However, the Government had set its priorities as per the following vaccination sequence:

Healthcare Workers

As per the National Expert Group for Vaccine Administration on COVID-19, public and private healthcare workers will get the vaccine first. These workers have been further divided into several sub-categories such as frontline healthcare workers, nurses and supervisors, support staff, paramedical staff, medical officers and students.

The Government has collected and fed data on all these workers on its CoWIN platform, which it seeks to scale up in the coronavirus vaccination drive.

Workers Associated With Armed Forces

Next in the vaccination line come the workers associated with armed forces, state and central police department, municipal workers, revenue officials, home guards, disaster management, and prison staff. Note that all these officials are associated with the containment of COVID-19 and its surveillance.

Vaccine for coronavirus will also be administered to workers associated with ministries of home, defence, housing and urban affairs.

Population Above 50 Years

Next in the line for COVID-19 vaccination comes people above 50 years of age. This group has also been sub-divided into two categories – above 50 and 50-60 years. The Government will use electoral rolls for identifying people in this age group.

High COVID-19 Infection Areas

States and union territories will have the flexibility to administer vaccines among identified priority groups in geographical areas with high COVID-19 infection prevalence.

Rest of the Population

After covering the above categories, the rest of the population will be inoculated. To avoid overcrowding, everyone will receive the vaccine in a staggered manner.

Registering for Coronavirus Vaccination

In the later phase of the vaccination drive, mainly while covering the rest of the population, a self-registration module will be available. To self-register, you need to:

  • Register yourself on CoWIN app
  • Authenticate using any Government ID proof or Aadhaar
  • Once you register, you will get a time and date for vaccination

Note that there will be no spot registration. Only, if you are a pre-registered beneficiary, can you proceed for vaccination.

COVID-19 Vaccination Sites

Depending on the priority groups, sites have been identified where you will receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The sites are:

Fixed Session Site

This is a health facility (Government or private) where a medical officer or doctor is present.

Outreach Session Site

Session sites other than health facilities, such as community halls, schools, etc., fall under this category.

Mobile Teams

Several locations in India are remote and hard to reach. Special mobile teams, planned by the district administration, will reach out to such areas.

Three Rooms of Vaccination

There are three dedicated rooms for COVID-19 vaccination. They are:

Waiting room

You need to wait your turn in this room.

Vaccine room

You will be given the vaccine in this room.

Observation room

After receiving the vaccine, you will be kept under observation in this room for half an hour, post which you can go home.

5-Member COVID-19 Vaccination Team

A five-member vaccination team will conduct the vaccination process. The team includes:

  • Officer 1: This officer will be in charge of pre-checking registration.
  • Officer 2: This officer will be responsible for authentication.
  • Officer 3: The third vaccination officer will be in charge of administering the vaccine.
  • Officer 4 and 5: These two officers will be in charge of managing the crowd and observation.
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India has started its COVID-19 vaccination drive on 16th January, with healthcare workers getting the first jabs.

Dos and Don'ts As Shared by the Government

The Government has shared a leaflet of the dos and don'ts for the vaccination drive. A few points to be noted:

  • COVID-19 vaccination is allowed only for those above 18 years of age.
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers shouldn't get the vaccine jabs. The same is applicable for those women who are not sure of their pregnancy.
  • The administration of the vaccine should be separated by a gap of 14 days.
  • The second dose of the vaccine should be the same as that of the first dose. It means that the interchanging of COVID-19 vaccines is not allowed. Note that DCGI has approved two vaccines for restricted emergency use as of now – Covaxin and Covishield.

Don't Drop Your Guard Even After The Vaccination

While getting vaccinated is a shot in the arm in our fight against the deadly virus, it's essential not to let your guard drop post vaccination. It's vital to continue following protocols - wearing masks, social distancing and usage of soaps or sanitiser to clean your hands.

It's equally essential is to avail a dedicated COVID-19 health insurance plan like Corona Kavach Policy. The policy is aimed to meet costs related to COVID-19 hospitalisation and prevent out-of-pocket expenses. The policy's sum insured ranges from ₹50,000 to ₹5 lakhs, and it also covers AYUSH inpatient care costs.

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