Covid-19 Vaccine in India

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.
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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
  • Passport
  • 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:

  1. Corona Kavach: This is a regular indemnity policy with coverage for coronavirus treatment with a tenure of 3.5 months to 9.5 months
  2. Corona Rakshak: This is optional with a standard benefit coverage and a fixed payout
  3. 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.

FAQs

  1. Are there vaccines other than Covaxine and Covishield that are being tested or approved in India?
  2. 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.

  3. Can I get the Covid vaccine if I show up at the vaccination venue without registration?
  4. 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.

  5. Is the Covid-19 vaccine compulsory in India?
  6. 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.

  7. How many doses does the Covid-19 vaccine have?
  8. The Covid-19 vaccine is given in two doses which are 28 days apart.

  9. How long does it take for antibodies to develop after taking the Covid-19 vaccine?
  10. Antibodies typically develop within 2 weeks of taking the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

  11. Should people who have recovered from Covid-19 also take the vaccine?
  12. 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.

  13. Should a person currently having the Covid-19 infection take the vaccine?
  14. It would be best to discuss the pros and cons of this with the physician taking care of the patient.

  15. Can I register more than one person at a time on the CoWIN website for vaccine appointments?
  16. Yes, you can add up to 4 names through one login on the CoWIn website. 

  17. Can I reschedule a Covid-19 vaccine appointment on the CoWIN website?
  18. Yes, you can reschedule an appointment for another date and time or center as per the vaccine availability. 

  19. Is Covid-19 vaccine covered under health insurance plans?
  20. Vaccines are generally not covered under standard health insurance plans because they are categorised as being preventive in nature. 

News About Covid-19 Vaccine in India

  • Registration for Covid – 19 vaccine for individuals above 18 years starts today

    Individuals above 18 years of age can start registering themselves for vaccination against Covid-19. The registration process will start from 4 p.m. onwards. One can register through the Arogya Setu app, CoWin app, and Umang app. It needs to be mentioned here that the central government had last Monday announced vaccination for everyone above 18 years from May 1.

    You can register for vaccination by logging in to the Arogya Setu app and clicking on ‘Vaccination’. Enter your mobile number, generate the One-Time password (OTP) and verify it. Once verification is done, add beneficiary by entering details like name, gender, and date of birth. Next, enter the pin code of the area and select the date, time, and vaccination centre before confirming.

    28 April 2021

  • Covishield prices announced by SII; Rs.400 for state governments and Rs.600 for private hospitals

    Serum Institute of India (SII) has announced its prices for the Covishield vaccine. These have now been fixed at Rs.400 for state governments and Rs.600 for state governments. The CEO of SII stated that the vaccines could be currently accessed through private health systems and state government establishments. Approximately 50% of the production would be reserved for the Central government's vaccination drive while the remaining 50% would be reserved for private hospitals and state governments. They will be available in the retail market after four to five months. When the vaccination drive was launched in the country in January 2021, the company had offered the vaccine to the government at Rs.150 per dose.

    21 April 2021

  • Covid – 19 vaccine Availability

    The Government of India has announced that the Covid-19 vaccine would be made available for all Indian citizens above the age of 18 from 1 May 2020 onwards. This will be phase-3 of the country's vaccination drive. In this phase, vaccine coverage will be scaled up and vaccine pricing will be liberalised. This includes both Covaxin and Covishield. Vaccine manufacturers would be free to supply 50% of their monthly doses released from the Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) into the open market and to state governments while 50% would be earmarked exclusively for the Central government. 

    Before the phase-3 starts on 1 May, vaccine manufacturers have to declare the price of the vaccines that will be released. These vaccines can be procured by the industrial establishments, private hospitals, and the state government directly from the vaccine manufacturers at the prices declared by them. Vaccinations will continue free of cost to the eligible population defined in the previous phases, which includes those above the age of 45, Health Care Workers (HCWs), and Front Line Workers (FLWs). 

    20 April 2021

  • COVID 19: Sputnik V vaccine gets the green signal for use in India

    As per reports, Russia's Covid vaccine Sputnik V has been approved by experts for use in India. The development comes in the wake of a possible second wave COVID infection. If the vaccine gets DCGI approval then this will be the third vaccine to be used in India; the other two being Serum Institute of India's Covishield - developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca - and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.

    Manufactured in India by Dr.Reddy’s, Sputnik V has the highest effectiveness of 91.6%, clocking just behind Moderna and Pfizer.

    12 April 2021

  • Covid vaccine age limit eased

    The age limit on Covid vaccination has been eased by the Central Government of India. The Government now allows anyone aged 45 years and above to receive the Covid vaccination from 1 April 2021.

    The first phase of the vaccination drive had commended on 16 January where all the health workers first received the dose followed by the frontline workers who got vaccinated from 2 February onwards.

    The second phase commenced from 1 March for people over 60 years of age and individuals aged 45 years and above who displayed co-morbid conditions.

    New guidelines have also been issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) where it has ordered all states to enhance the proportion of RT-PCR tests in a strict manner.

    24 March 2021

  • Covaxin Launch

    Bharat Biotech will be launching Phase-3 of clinical trials of Covaxin with a target of 26,000 volunteers across India. A dry run was held across the country to prepare for the inoculation drive. The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) was formed by the Central Government in August 2020 and will be responsible for procurement, delivery, and tracking of vaccines

    2 January 2020

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