The coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a standstill in 2020. However, there is a ray of hope in the year 2021 with the Covid-19 vaccine being rolled out in countries across the world. In India, the vaccination drive for the coronavirus will begin shortly. Here’s all you need to know about it.
Indians over the age of 18 to get free vaccination
From 1 May, states had been allotted 25% of the work related to Covid management and this initiative made the states aware of the process of the vaccine procurement. The Centre will now take care of the vaccination process and this will start within two weeks. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India had also said that from 21 June onwards, Indian citizens over the age of 18 can avail the vaccine for free.
Covid-19 Vaccines Approved for Use in India
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved two vaccines for emergency use in India. These are:
Covishield: This is a vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford University. It is being produced in India by the Serum Institute of India (SII). Clinical trials are currently in progress. Permission for the vaccine is restricted to emergency use subject to regulatory terms and conditions.
Covaxin: This vaccine has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the National Institute of Virology (Pune) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Clinical trials are ongoing. It is approved for use in emergency situations which are in the public interest. It is currently in the clinical trial mode. In case of mutant strains, there will be more options for vaccinations.
Sputnik V: The Sputnik V vaccine will be available in a few weeks in India after clearing statutory regulations. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, based in Hyderabad, has entered into a partnership with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for this purpose. At first, 250 million doses of the vaccine will be supplied to India.
How to register for Covid vaccine in India
You can now register for the Covid-19 vaccine in India on the government's Aarogya Setu and UMANG mobile applications. You can also register through the CoWIN web portal.
How to Register for Covid vaccine on CoWIN
Follow the steps given below to register on the CoWIN website:
Step 1: Visit the CoWIN web portal
Step 2: Click on Register/Sign in
Step 3: Enter your mobile number and click on ''Get OTP''
Step 4: Enter the OTP received on your phone
Step 5: Click on ‘Verify’
Step 6: Enter the required details such as your name, year of birth, gender, etc.
Step 7: Click on ''Register''
Step 8: Click on ''Schedule'' to schedule your appointment
Step 9: Enter your pin code and click on ''Search''
Step 10: The centres available will be displayed
Step 11: Choose the date and time convenient for you
Step 12: Click on ‘Confirm’
How to Register for Covid Vaccine through Aarogya Setu app
Step 1: Download the Aarogya Setu mobile application on your phone
Step 2: On the home screen, click on the CoWIN tab
Step 3: Select ‘Vaccination Registration’
Step 4: Enter your phone number to receive the OTP
Step 5: Enter the OTP received and verify
Step 6: On the page for ‘Register for Vaccination’, enter the required details
Step 7: Click on ‘Register’.
Step 8: Click on ''Schedule'' to schedule your appointment
Step 9: Enter your pin code
Step 10: Click on ''Search''
Step 11: Select the date and time
Step 12: Click on ''Confirm''
Documents Required for Covid Vaccine Registration in India
To register for the coronavirus vaccine, you will need a photo-identification document which can be any one of the following:
- Aadhaar card
- PAN card
- Voter ID
- Driving licence
- Pension document
- Labour Ministry’s Health Insurance Smart Card
- MGNREGA job card
- Post office or bank passbooks
- Service ID cards issued by government organisations or Public Limited companies
Eligibility Criteria for the Covid-19 vaccination in India
In the latest ''liberalised and accelerated'' phase 3 of the Covid-19 vaccination drive in India, the eligibility criteria have been relaxed to include anyone above the age of 18.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has prioritised beneficiaries for the coronavirus vaccine in India. Approximately 27 crore individuals are to be vaccinated by July 2020. Recently, the Central Government relaxed the age limit on Covid-19 vaccinations, effective from 1 April 2021. Individuals above the age of 45 will be eligible to get the vaccine even if they do not have any comorbidities.
Earlier, the age limit for the second phase of the world's largest vaccination campaign was restricted to 60 years and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. The campaign commenced on 1 March 2021. The country-wide vaccination drive started on 16 January 2021. The first phase saw healthcare workers getting the vaccine while frontline workers started getting the vaccine on 2 February 2021.
The gap between the first and second dose of the vaccine has now been extended to between four and eight weeks.
- In the first phase: One crore healthcare workers and two crore frontline workers
- Individuals above the age of 45, in the current phase
- Individuals below the age of 45, in the subsequent phase
Cost of Covid-19 Vaccine in India
Cost of Covishield: Serum Institute of India has set the price of the Covishield vaccine at Rs.300 per dose to state governments and at Rs.600 per dose to private hospitals.
Cost of Covaxin: Bharat Biotech has set the price of Covaxin at Rs.400 per dose to state governments and at Rs.1200 per dose to private hospitals.
The Government of India has announced that the Covid vaccine will be provided free of cost for frontline workers. There is no information as of now about the cost of the vaccine to the general public.
Procedure during Vaccination for Covid-19
At the vaccination centre, there will be a team of 5 officials in each vaccination team. There will be three rooms prepared for beneficiaries to ensure social distancing and seamless implementation of the vaccine. These are:
- Waiting room
- Observation room
- Inoculation room
Volunteers will be observed for 30 minutes after administration of the vaccine.
Co-WIN App for Coronavirus Vaccination Details
The Central Government has introduced the Covid Vaccine Intelligence Work (Co-WIN) digital platform to synchronise data between all the states and union territories. This is to facilitate the implementation of the vaccination program in a more efficient way. Here is what you need to know about the app:
- It will have options for individual registration, self-registration, and bulk upload
- There will be modules for the user administrator, beneficiary registration, acknowledgement of vaccination, and updation of status
- There will be options to register on the official website as well as on the mobile application
- Spot registrations are not allowed for priority group vaccinations
- An SMS and QR-based certificate will be sent as acknowledgement of vaccination to the beneficiary once it has been completed
Steps to Download COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate from the Co-WIN Website
Step 1: Visit the Co-WIN website: https://www.Co-WIN.gov.in/
Step 2: Click 'Sign in/Register’ and key in your mobile number.
Step 3: An OTP will be sent to your mobile. Enter this code.
Step 4: Click on ‘Certificate’ and then select ‘Download’.
Once you follow these steps, the COVID-19 vaccination certificate will be downloaded onto your device.
Steps to Download COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate from Aarogya Setu App
Step 1: Download and open the Arogya Setu app.
Step 2: Use your mobile number to sign in/log into the app and click on ‘Co-WIN’.
Step 3: Select 'Vaccination Certificate’ and enter the 13-digit beneficiary reference ID number.
Step 4: Select ‘Download’.
Your COVID-19 vaccination certificate will be downloaded on your device.
Covid-19 Insurance in India
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) has made it mandatory for all health insurance companies to provide a standard Covid-19 health insurance policy to all policy holders, applicable from 10 July 2020. There are two kinds of policies which are:
- Corona Kavach: This is a regular indemnity policy with coverage for coronavirus treatment with a tenure of 3.5 months to 9.5 months
- Corona Rakshak: This is optional with a standard benefit coverage and a fixed payout
These two plans offer different coverage of treatment expenses. The maximum sum assured has been capped at Rs.5 lakh and the minimum sum assured at Rs.50,000 for both these plans. There will be a 5% discount for healthcare workers with affordable premiums for all.
- Are there vaccines other than Covaxine and Covishield that are being tested or approved in India?
- Can I get the Covid vaccine if I show up at the vaccination venue without registration?
- Is the Covid-19 vaccine compulsory in India?
- How many doses does the Covid-19 vaccine have?
- How long does it take for antibodies to develop after taking the Covid-19 vaccine?
- Should people who have recovered from Covid-19 also take the vaccine?
- Should a person currently having the Covid-19 infection take the vaccine?
- Can I register more than one person at a time on the CoWIN website for vaccine appointments?
- Can I reschedule a Covid-19 vaccine appointment on the CoWIN website?
- Is Covid-19 vaccine covered under health insurance plans?
There are other vaccines currently in various stages of development but only Covaxin and Covishield have been approved for use by the Government of India as of now. Sputnik V has been imported from Russia and will start being administered after clearing the statutory regulations.
No, only those who are in the government’s beneficiary list as well as those registered as volunteers (and who have received acknowledgement) will receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Spot registrations or spot vaccinations are not being allowed.
As of now, the Covid-19 vaccine is being rolled out on a voluntary basis in India. However, if you are taking the vaccine, it is advisable to complete the entire vaccine schedule.
The Covid-19 vaccine is given in two doses which are 28 days apart.
Antibodies typically develop within 2 weeks of taking the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Health officials advise that it will be beneficial to receive the vaccine even if there is a past history of Covid-19 infection and recovery.
It would be best to discuss the pros and cons of this with the physician taking care of the patient.
Yes, you can add up to 4 names through one login on the CoWIn website.
Yes, you can reschedule an appointment for another date and time or center as per the vaccine availability.
Vaccines are generally not covered under standard health insurance plans because they are categorised as being preventive in nature.