Explained: As Covid vaccination drive begins March 1, centres closest to you, how to apply


From tomorrow (March 1), India will begin its next phase of coronavirus vaccination, to immunise senior citizens and people with co-morbidities in the age bracket of 45-59 years.

While walk-in vaccination will begin in many states on March 1, government officials expect a week to pass before the system settles. People can start registering on the upgraded version of the app CoWIN from March 1, although they may experience traffic and delay on the portal, as lakhs would attempt to register themselves.

Here are the vaccination sites nearest to you, and your complete guide on who is eligible and how to register.

How to register?

Download CoWIN from app store or visit cowin.gov.in. One has to feed mobile number or Aadhar number or any other government identification number to register. Once registered, vaccination centres in the vicinity will be displayed. The Co-WIN 2.0 app is GPS-integrated, it will display nearby centres based on a person’s mobile location. A person can choose a centre and a time slot as per convenience.

Alternatively, one can walk into a centre without registration, but if the quota for the day is over, the centre can ask them to return the next day. Vaccination centres have been directed to reserve 40 per cent doses for pre-registered recipients and 60 per cent for walk-ins. This can change from centre to centre.

Government hospitals will vaccinate for free, while in private hospitals, a recipient has to pay a maximum of Rs 250 per dose. For two doses, that comes to Rs 500.

In case of adverse events, the admission and hospitalisation charges will be separate.

Currently, from the private sector, only hospitals empaneled under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) and Central government Health Scheme (CGHS) are allowed to participate, but several states have urged the government to allow charitable hospitals to join the vaccination drive.

So far, CoWIN has registered 1.7 crore beneficiaries and immunised 1.1 crore until Sunday morning. Till February, 26, 14,879 adverse events following immunisation were recorded and 151 of them were severe. The portal has recorded deaths of 40 people so far following vaccination.

Who is eligible?

Those who turn 60 before or by January 1, 2022, will be eligible for vaccination. People aged above 60 years only need age proof to get a vaccine shot. They can either register on the app and follow the steps to select a slot, or walk in to a centre with age proof and get their shot.

When they select a hospital and a time slot, they will not be told which vaccine (Covishield or Covaxin) the hospital has. That information will be conveyed only at the centre. Officials said once a person registers and chooses a time slot, he will not be able to change the centre.

For those aged 45-59 years, apart from age proof, medical documents will be required as proof of co-morbidities.

Which comorbidities are included?

The list of co-morbidity is as follows:

Diabetes (for more than 10 years or with complications) and hypertension (must be presently on treatment)

HIV infection/ immunodeficiency disease

Severe respiratory disease including hospitalisation in the last two years

Heart failure with hospitalisation in last one year

Those with left ventricular assist device in end-stage heart disease

Those who have undergone heart transplant/ kidney transplant/liver transplant/ haematopoietic stem cell transplant

Left ventricular systolic dysfunction, moderate or severe vulvular heart disease

Congenital heart disease with pulmonary arterial hypertension

Coronary artery disease with hypertension or diabetes (on treatment)

Angina (chest pain) with hypertension or diabetes (on treatment)

Documented stroke case with hypertension or diabetes (on treatment)

End stage kidney disease on dialysis

Those on immunosuppressants

Decomposed cirrhosis

Leukemia / myeloma/ lymphoma

Sickle cell disease/ thalassemia/ aplastic anemia/ bone marrow failure

Those diagnosed with cancer on or after July 1, 2020, or those on cancer treatment presently

People with multiple disabilities: this includes blindness and deafness, acid attack where respiratory tract involvement is there, muscular dystrophy, intellectual disabilities, disabled requiring high support needs.

People who have only diabetes or only hypertension will not be eligible for vaccination, government officials have clarified. A person aged 45-59 years must have diabetes for at least last 10 years or with complications like heart problem, kidney problem, respiratory problem along with hypertension where medication to control blood pressure is ongoing.

“In initial days, there may be confusion over who is eligible and who is not. Government of India has clearly mentioned that a person must have both diabetes and hypertension to be eligible,” said Dr Archana Patil, director (family welfare), Directorate of Health Services in Maharashtra.

Similarly, a person with blindness may not be eligible, but a person with multiple disabilities like blindness and deafness will be eligible. People who require high support need due to disability, for instance, those paraplegic or quadriplegic, will be eligible too.

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