The registration for the next phase of vaccination via CoWIN 2.0 portal will start at 9 am on March 1, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced on February 28.
Citizens aged above 60 and 45-plus with comorbidities are eligible to receive the jabs under this round of immunisation drive.
"Registration will open at 9:00 am on 1st March 2021 (at www.cowin.gov.in). Citizens will be able to register and book and appointment for vaccination, anytime and anywhere, using the CoWIN 2.0 portal or through other IT applications such as Arogya Setu etc," the health ministry said in an official release.
The Centre has allowed the states to rope-in private medical facilities to speed up the vaccination drive.
Around 10,000 private hospitals under Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY, and more than 600 hospitals empanelled under central government health scheme (CGHS) and other private hospitals empanelled under government schemes can be picked by the states as COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs).
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The COWIN 2.0 platform has been updated to allow the states to provide the option of vaccination through private hospitals to the beneficiaries.
"All citizens that are aged, or will attain the age of, 60 years or more as on 1st January 2022 are eligible to register, in addition to all such citizens that are aged, or will attain the age of, 45 years to 59 years as on 1st January 2022, and have any of the specified 20 comorbidities," the ministry added.
There will be only one live appointment for a beneficiary at any point of time for each dose. "Appointments for any date for a CVC will be closed at 3:00 pm on that day for which the slots were opened," the statement read.
For example, for 1st March, the slots will be open from 9:00 am till 3:00 pm, and the appointments can be booked anytime before that, subject to availability.
However, on 1st March, an appointment can also be booked for any future date for which vaccination slots are available. A slot for second dose will also be booked at the same CVC on 29th day of the date of appointment of the first dose.
"If a beneficiary cancels a first dose appointment, then appointment of both doses will be cancelled," the statement noted.
The eligible persons will be able to register at the Co-WIN2.0 portal through their mobile number, through a step by step process.
"With one mobile number, a person can register as many as four beneficiaries. However, all those registered on one mobile number will have nothing in common except the mobile number," it added.
The Photo ID Card Number for each such beneficiary must be different. Either of the following Photo Identity Documents can be used by citizens for availing of online registration–Aadhar card/letter, Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC), passport, driving license, PAN card, NPR smart card or pension Document with photograph.
The vaccines that will be used for administration in this phase of immunisation programme would be supplied to the states by the central government - which will procure the same from the manufacturers.
"All vaccines provided to beneficiaries at the Government Health Facilities will be entirely free of cost, while private facilities cannot charge the beneficiary a sum above Rs 250 per person per dose," the ministry reiterated.
Private hospitals are to remit the cost of vaccine doses allotted to them in a designated account of the National Health Authority (NHA). Payment gateway for the same is being enabled by the NHA on their website.
The Government of India has supplied two COVID-19 vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, free of cost to the states and UTs to vaccinate healthcare workers and frontline workers. The Centre will also be able to cover the next priority group, the ministry statement added.The states have been requested to operationalize the linkages between the CVCs - both government and private empanelled facilities - with the nearest cold chain points for ensuring smooth vaccine delivery, it further added.