With the drug regulator clearing the urgent use of two vaccines, it is a matter of time before the massive inoculation exercise begins. Here are answers to some important questions:
Who will get the vaccine first?
Based on guidance from the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of Covid-19 (NEGVAC), the Covid-19 vaccine will be introduced in a phased manner with first phase focussing on health-care workers, frontline workers and population at higher risk. The prioritisation of groups will depend upon the disease incidence and prevailing pandemic situation.
Timing for rollout of vaccination in these three-priority groups will be tailored based on vaccine availability and is not necessarily sequential. In Phase 1 of the vaccination, the plan is to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people.
a. Health-care workers (approximately 1 crore): Health-care providers and workers in the health-care setting (public and private), including Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) workers. The group has been further divided into nine sub-groups: medical officers, nurses and supervisors, frontline health and ICDS workers, paramedical staff, support staff, medical, nursing and paramedical students, medical scientists and research staff, clerical and administrative staff and other health staff.
b. Frontline Workers (FLWs): Personnel from State and Central Police departments, Armed Forces, Home-Guards, prison staff, disaster management volunteers and Civil Defence Organisations, municipal workers and revenue officials engaged in Covid-19 containment, surveillance and associated activities.
c. Population above 50 years of age and those below 50 with co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, lung diseases, etc.
How are the vaccine beneficiaries chosen?
Health-care workers: State and central ministries have been provided with a template to collect the data of the HCWs working in various health facilities/institutions (public and private). Once the data is collected, the template will be uploaded into the Co-WIN system.
Frontline workers: Customised templates are being developed in consultation with nodal officers of the Ministries concerned for identified FLW groups. These templates will be available for downloading from Co-WIN and will be used for data compilation and bulk upload. The facility/level concerned can also register the beneficiary individually by logging onto app.cowin.gov.in.
Prioritised age group: Latest electoral roll for Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly elections will be used to identify population aged 50 years or more.
Where will the vaccine shots be given?
Vaccination will be given at existing healthcare facilities, both public and private. There could also be outreach session sites that may be set up in schools, colleges, community halls, municipal offices, panchayat bhavans and marriage halls. There could also be special mobile teams to cover hard-to-reach and under-served areas, migratory populations, and international border areas and areas infected with extremist groups.
How will I know about my vaccination turn?
Once session sites are decided, vaccinators, mobilisers, security staff, support staff and supervisors would be finalised. They are linked to the particular session and the beneficiaries are tagged to specific session. Autogenerated SMS/email intimation will be sent to the beneficiaries, vaccinators, mobilisers and supervisors about the date, time and place of the session. To observe the staggered approach, beneficiaries should be advised by mobilisers to come to session sites per staggered time.
Who will man the vaccination sessions?
The vaccination team at each session site will consist of a minimum of five members, including one vaccinator who could be a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or ANM. These officers will be given the task of checking the registration status of the beneficiaries, checking their bona fides, crowd management, monitoring of adverse effects following immunisation among others.
How to register for vaccination at a session site?
Self-registration will be available only in the later stages of vaccination. Common Service Centres can be used for self-registration and identity certification of the general population. The beneficiaries can register using various means of authentication including biometric, OTP validation or simply filling in demographic particulars manually.
What are the documents needed for registration?
Most IDs provided by the government such as Driving Licence, Voter card, Pan card, Passport, etc. In addition, health insurance smart card, MNREGA cards, Bank and Post Office passbooks can also be used.
How many doses of vaccine?
Beneficiaries have to take two doses of vaccine 28 days apart to complete the vaccination schedule. Antibodies will develop in body two weeks after taking the second dose.