Elderly people register themselves for COVID-19 vaccination in Mumbai, March 11. Pandemic-weary and sequestered mostly in their homes for a year, India’s elderly are now standing in long lines at vaccination sites, then rolling up their sleeves to get shots protecting them against the coronavirus. (Image: AP)
All Indians above 45 years of age can get the COVID-19 vaccine from April 1 as the country expands the inoculation drive to stem the recent spike in coronavirus infections.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar had on March 23 said all individuals aged 45 and above will be allowed to get the COVID-19 vaccines from April 1. Earlier, only frontline workers, those above the age of 60 and those aged 45 with underlying health conditions could get any of the two vaccines—Covishield and Covaxin—approved by India.
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"It has been decided that from April 1, the (COVID-19) vaccine will open for everybody above 45 years of age. We request that all those eligible should immediately register and get vaccinated," Javadekar said.
This comes amid rising COVID-19 cases in India, which reported more than 72,330 cases on April 1. Several states had requested the Centre to widen the immunisation drive.
Also see: In Pics: COVID-19 vaccination opens for people above 45 as cases spike
So, here is all you need to know:
>> All citizens aged 45 years and above are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
>> The Centre has so far approved two vaccines– AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s Covishield,manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
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>> Individuals cannot choose which vaccine they will get, and vaccines cannot be mixed and matched. The optimal time period between the first and second dose for Covishield is six-eight weeks. For Covaxin, it is for weeks
>> The interval for Covishield is based on the assessment of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and subsequently by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19(NEGVAC), the Centre said.
>> The World Health Organisation (WHO) also recommended increasing dose interval gap for AstraZeneca vaccine to 8-12 weeks, as a longer interval was found to have increased the efficacy of the jab.
>> The appointment for vaccination can be booked through the Co-WIN 2.0 portal using a valid Indian mobile number. Please note that the Co-WIN app on the Google Play Store is for administrators only.
>> One mobile-phone number can be used to register up to four individuals. To add more people after the first registration go to “Add more” option in account details on the Co-WIN portal.
>> You can book the appointment at the nearest vaccination centre after registration is complete. The booking process for each individual needs to be done separately.
>> Private hospitals are now also allowed to administer COVID-19 vaccinations.
>> If you opt for vaccination at a private hospital, you will have to pay around Rs 250 per dose, which includes Rs 100 service charge.
>> While going for vaccination, carry any valid photo ID card such as your Aadhaar card or voter card.
>> You can also register on the spot at the vaccination centre. Make sure to carry a valid age proof and a photo ID document.Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here