India Gears Up for Next Phase of COVID-19 Vaccination: 60+ Citizens Top Priority, No Free Shots for All

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India to begin its next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive early next month. Elder citizens will receive the vaccine shots on top priority.

Now, the next phase of the vaccination against coronavirus will share two groups. In particular, one group will receive the vaccines for free. Second, for the ones who will need to pay. Out of the 27 crores, beneficiaries of age group 50 and older are a top priority, now.

Indian government decides that in the second phase of inoculation, the beneficiaries will have the privilege to choose. Mainly, to receive their shots. Even, in a different state from the one, they belong to. Senior government officials did confirm that it is not necessary to receive the shots from the states they belong to according to the electoral roll.

India Set to Begin Second Phase of COVID-19 Vaccination

Moreover, a top senior government official, said that now there are two distinct groups (in the next phase). He said that the government will define which group is to receive the doses (of vaccine) for free. And the beneficiaries will find out if they are eligible or not during the registration process.

According to government sources, the final decision on who will receive the vaccine shots for free and who will require to pay for their own will be shared, soon.

It is worth mentioning here that in the first phase of vaccination that did begin on January 16, the Centre did pick up the entire tab for vaccinating the priority groups of healthcare workers. Also, frontline workers did receive the shots on topmost priority.

The top officials said the next phase of the vaccination is to begin in the first week of March. Clearly, the government now states that the priority group is 50 years and above. Also, within that same group, there will be a priority for citizens 60 years and above. In fact, they are to register first for the vaccine shots.

First, Register on Co-win App

Importantly, while the self-registration process in the next phase, the information of the beneficiaries will be checked with data collected from the electoral roll and the common identification number or Aadhaar. Sources said that the government has build two back-end means on Co-win. First, any beneficiary will download the Co-win app. Then, register and allow the back-end to collect data from two sources: Electoral roll and Aadhaar. Only, after the data matches, it will upload any further information on the same. Later, Co-win will share the vaccination centres and geo-coordinates. Finally, after the beneficiary selects a centre, then they will have to select a date, too.

Considerably, this second phase will be the biggest vaccination drive for the country. Over 60 consignee points across India will deliver the COVID-19 vaccines to any centres within one day. Mostly, the distance between the vaccination centres and the consignee points are all within a radius of 60-70 km. So, the authorities confirm that it is convenient to deliver the doses within 24 hours’ notice.

Union Health Secretary: Do Not Store Buffer Vaccine Stock

Meanwhile, the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan writes to all the states to increase their vaccination pace. Also, they need to carry out the drive at least four days a week. Also, Bhushan mention in his letter how all states and the union territories need to prepare to provide a sufficient number of vaccines. In addition, he said that they all need to ensure that all the public health facilities like medical colleges, hospitals, institutes, community health centres, PHCs, wellness centres are prepared to deliver.

Further, he said that the state governments are finalising on mapping all public health centres to the cold chain points.

According to sources, the Central government also did communicate to all states urging them not to store buffer stock. Also, to administer the first dose on top priority.


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