New Delhi, Jan 3: India’s drugs regulator has approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country. This paves the way for the roll out of at least two vaccines in India in the coming days.
The overall efficacy of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine was 70.4 2 per cent while Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN was “safe and provides a robust immune response”, Drugs Controller General of India VG Somani said.
The approval came a day after India rehearsed for a massive coronavirus vaccination drive with an inoculation dry run held across states and Union Territories on Saturday.
Healthcare workers: Public and private
The vaccine will first be given to around one crore healthcare workers working in both government and private hospitals, according to the recommendation by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC).
These healthcare workers have further been divided into sub-categories – frontline health and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) workers, nurses and supervisors, medical officers, paramedical staff, support staff and students.
The data for the same has been collected from the government and private health facilities and is being fed into CoWIN, a digital platform to roll out and scale up the vaccination drive.
Frontline and municipal workers
Around two crore frontline workers associated with the state and central Police department, armed forces, home guard, disaster management and civil defense organisation, prison staff, municipal workers and revenue officials engaged in COVID-19 containment, surveillance and associated activities are next in line to get the vaccine.
Workers associated with state government and ministries of defense, home, housing and urban affairs will also be inoculated in this phase.
Population above 50 years of age
This group is divided into two sub-categories: Above 60 and 50-60 years of age.
The latest electoral roll for Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly elections will be used to identify the population under this category for the vaccination drive.
Areas with high COVID-19 infection
States and Union Territories will have the generic flexibility to do priority phasing of the rollout for the identified priority groups (as decided by the NEGVAC) in identified geographical areas where the COVID-19 infection prevalence is high.
The remaining population will be inoculated after the people in priority list are covered. The vaccination here will depend on the disease epidemiology and vaccine availability. To avoid overcrowding at vaccination session site, the vaccine will be given to the beneficiaries in a staggered manner.
How can you register for the vaccine?
Self-registration module will be made available in the later phases of the implementation.
Self-register on the CoWIN Website
Upload government photo identity or do an AADHAAR authentication. The authentication can happen via biometrics, OTP or demographic.
Once registered, a date and time will be allocated for vaccination
There will be no on the spot registration and only pre-registered beneficiaries will be allowed to proceed for the vaccination.
Respective district administration will be responsible for the session management in the CoWIN system. They will approve the beneficiaries for session and site allocation. CoWIN will have an inbuilt monitoring and reporting mechanism.
Vaccine sites have been allocated for different priority groups:
Fixed session site
Vaccination conducted at the health facilities – both government and private – where either a medical officer or a doctor is available is defined as a fixed session site.
Outreach session site
Sites other than health facilities such as schools, community halls etc.
This is for remote, hard-to-reach areas, migratory populations areas and international borders areas. District administrations need to plan these teams as part of the operational plan.
What will the vaccination process entail?
There will be three demarcated rooms and areas for the vaccination process: Waiting room – where one will wait before the vaccine is administered; vaccination room – where the vaccine will be administered and observation room where the beneficiary will be observed for 30 minutes post receiving the vaccine.
Who will give the vaccine?
A five-member vaccination team will be entrusted with the process:
Vaccination officer 1: For pre checking the registration
Vaccination officer 2: For authentication
Vaccination officer 3: In-charge of giving vaccine. Since it is an intramuscular vaccine, a trained professional will administer the vaccine.
Vaccination officer 4 and 5: In-charge of crowd management and 30-minute observation.