India's COVID-19 vaccination drive, registration, priority beneficiaries: Everything to know
India is gearing up to launch the world's largest immunization drive soon, and a nationwide dry run for the COVID-19 vaccination was conducted on Saturday to assess the authorities' preparedness and test the mechanisms before the actual program. As the government plans to inoculate 30 crore people in the next 6-8 months under Phase-I, here's everything you should know about the vaccination drive.
Under Phase-I of the vaccination program, the government plans to provide vaccines to the most prioritized beneficiaries like healthcare workers (public and private) and frontline workers. Also, individuals above the age of 50 years, most of whom have co-morbidities, will be prioritized.
About one crore public/private healthcare workers, including frontline health/Integrated Child Development Services workers, nurses, supervisors, medical officers, paramedical staff, support staff, and students, will be vaccinated in Phase-I. Two crore frontline workers of state/central police departments, Defense/Home/Housing and Urban Affairs Ministries, armed forces, Home Guard, disaster management, civil defense, prison staff, municipal workers/revenue officials engaged in COVID-19 containment/surveillance and associated activities will also be inoculated.
Next, people above 50 years, most of whom have co-morbidities, will be prioritized for receiving vaccines. This age group is further divided into two subcategories: those between 50-60 years and people above 60 years. People in areas with high COVID-19 prevalence as identified by states/Union Territories will be prioritized. Finally, the country's remaining population will be vaccinated depending on disease epidemiology and vaccine availability.
Individuals can self-register their names for the COVID-19 vaccination as beneficiaries on the Centre's Co-WIN platform. They are required to upload government-issued photo identity proofs or authenticate their Aadhaar number. After registration, the time and date for their immunization are allocated. To note, there will be no provision for spot-registrations, and pre-registration on Co-WIN will be required.
Vaccines will be administered at different sites: fixed session sites, outreach session sites, and special mobile sites/teams. Healthcare and frontline workers would receive vaccines at fixed session sites—government/private healthcare facilities—where a doctor/medical officer is available. Outreach session sites (for other beneficiaries) include schools, community halls, civic offices, etc. Special mobile sites/teams are for remote/hard-to-reach areas, regions with higher migratory population concentration, and international border areas.
The vaccination sites will have three demarcated rooms/areas: waiting, vaccination, and observation rooms (where beneficiaries wait for 30 minutes post-immunization). A five-member team of vaccination officers will also be present. The first officer will pre-check the registrations, the second is responsible for authentication, and the third will administer vaccines. The fourth and fifth officers are responsible for crowd management and 30-minute observation of beneficiaries.