Those Over 18 Can Register for Covid Vaccine from April 28, 4pm: Here’s What to Expect - News18

Registration of all adults who want to enrol in India’s massive Covid-19 inoculation drive will begin from Wednesday, 4 pm on the government’s CoWin platform.The development came close on the heels of the government announcing this week

Those Over 18 Can Register for Covid Vaccine from April 28, 4pm: Here’s What to Expect - News18

Registration of all adults who want to enrol in India’s massive Covid-19 inoculation drive will begin from Wednesday, 4 pm on the government’s CoWin platform.

The development came close on the heels of the government announcing this week that all citizens over 18 can have Covid19 vaccination from May 1, while it also allowed sales of vaccines to private players. At present, the government-sponsored drive covers only those above 45 years at designated vaccination sites.

“Calling all citizens aged 18+ to gear up to get vaccinated against #COVID19 May 1 onwards. Registrations open up tomorrow, Apr 28. Log on to http://cowin.gov.in & follow the steps to schedule your appointment," Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

Appeal for registration, walkins for 45+ to continue

In an interview with News18, RS Sharma, the chairperson of an empowered committee on Covid-19 vaccination and also the CoWin chief, appealed to beneficiaries to register and book an appointment before turning up to get the jab. The drive, which began on January 16, allowed on-site registrations, apart from those done through CoWin. “It’s expected that once the vaccination is opened for all adults, there could be a lot of crowd at the vaccination centres. To avoid such a scenario registering on CoWIN portal and making an appointment to get a vaccine will be made mandatory for the new beneficiaries. Walks-in will not be allowed in the beginning so that there is no chaos," Sharma said.

The rush at vaccination centres is expected to increase sharply in view of India’s ambitious move to expand the vaccination programme at a time when the country is reeling from a brutal second wave of infections that are setting grim records every passing day.

Those between 18 and 45 years will have to “book their appointments through those facilities” that would vaccinate this age group, Sharma said “We are actually requesting those facilities also (to register),” Sharma said.

“In case they (the facilities) are not doing it (vaccination) for what you call a captive audience, which is an industry group doing it for its employees etc…unless they are doing that, they need to make public the time table. So that people are able to see as to which facilities are available for vaccination,” he said.

Next step: Scheduling an appointment

Sharma explained that registering on the platform and scheduling an appointment are two different things and that the latter would depend on facilities publishing their timetables. “That is why I’m saying we will request all the facilities to register on the CoWin portal,” he said.

Vaccine-makers can now sell 50% of what they produce directly to states and private players, while the rest will have to go to the Centre for the ongoing government-sponsored campaign that will remain limited to those above 45 years.

Those between 18 and 45 will have to buy their vaccines once private sales begin or states buy stocks to vaccinate these people. According to the government, apart from Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, Russia’s Sputnik will soon be used. On Wednesday, Serum Institute said its vaccine would be sold at Rs 400 to states and at Rs 600 to private hospitals. The prices for the Centre would remain the same at Rs 150.

When asked how many registrations the government was expecting in the expanded drive, Sharma said the number “could be very high”. “I can’t give you an estimate at this point in time,” he said.

He appealed to people to ensure the process was carried out in an “organised way”. “If you get a prior appointment, it will be better. Otherwise, people might just walk in and their number could be much beyond the capacity of the vaccination centre…then there will be chaos,” he said.

“The best way to do it is through bookings and prior appointments. That way it will be much more orderly,” he said.

The beginning and the evolution

India’s vaccination drive began on January 16 for healthcare workers. It was gradually expanded to accommodate front line workers, and then the population above 60 years and those above 45 years with underlying health conditions, or comorbidities. From April, the comorbidity clause was removed, making all above 45 eligible for the shot. Finally, India became one of the few countries to open the vaccination drive to all adults.

On average, the country vaccinates 30 lakh people a day at present.

Sharma said there will be “no significant changes” to the CoWin app. “The registration and the vaccination will continue as before,” he said. “Any facility that vaccinates people will have to use the vaccination module of the CoWin software so that we have real-time data of the people who are being vaccinated and which can be shown on the dashboard throughout the country….”

“We all try to provide the figure age-wise, gender-wise and vaccine-wise etc…The whole idea is we need to have a single source of truth regarding vaccination,” he added.

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