People above 45 years with comorbidities will need doctor certificate, says task force member

Those older than 45 years and with comorbidities will need a certificate from a registered medical doctor. But those older than 60 years will not need any certificate. Only Serum Institute’s Covishield vaccine will be available at private hospitals. Self-registration needed for those above 45 years with comorbidities.

The second phase of COVID-19 vaccination across the country, which is set to begin from March 1, will include people above 60 years of age and also those with comorbidities above the age of 45 years. The vaccines will be available at both government and private hospital vaccination sites.

According to Dr. N.K. Arora, Head of the Operations Research Group of the COVID-19 Task Force, the cost of vaccine and delivery (vaccine administration) at private hospitals will be announced in a day or two. Vaccines will be provided for free at government vaccination sites.

“Those older than 45 years and with comorbidities will need a certificate from a registered medical doctor. But those older than 60 years will not need any certificate,” Dr. Arora says. “Comorbidities will include hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, kidney and lung diseases, cancers and those on immuno-suppressants. A full list will be provided soon.”

According to Dr. Arora, only Serum Institute’s Covishield vaccine will be available at private hospitals. “Self-registration on CoWIN will be needed for those with comorbidities above the age of 45 years,” he says. “This will help in knowing how many have been vaccinated and also helps in informing the recipients when the second dose is scheduled.”

According to him, for those above 60 years, self-registration will be permitted so that anyone wishing to get vaccinated is not missed. It is not clear if the names of those above 60 years will be uploaded by the government based on the electoral list.

“On registration on CoWIN, the applicant will be informed of the government and private hospital sites closest to his/her place of residence. The applicant can choose whether to go to a government vaccination site or a private hospital,” Dr. Arora says.

The CoWIN platform will be open for self-registration from March 1 onwards, Dr. Arora says.

Published in The Hindu on February 25, 2021