NEW DELHI: The second phase of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive for age-appropriate population groups began on Monday with the Union Health Ministry calling out eligible people to get an appointment at respective hospitals in the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first ones to receive the Covid-19 vaccine on Monday as vaccination opened for the general population, beginning with people above 60 and those with co-morbidities above 45.
Citizens will be able to register and book an appointment for vaccination, anytime and anywhere, using the COWIN 2.0 portal or through other IT (information technology) applications such as Arogya Setu, etc.
The Central government released a new framework for Co-WIN2.0 on Sunday.
According to the new framework, the schedule of vaccination of eligible beneficiaries will be closely linked with the availability of vaccine doses. The states and Union Territories will determine the target number of doses to be administered in a vaccination cycle.
"The target number of doses is to be determined considering the available stocks and the requirement of further vaccine stocks for the second dose since, when a beneficiary is being vaccinated with the first dose, Co-WIN will automatically confirm the appointment of the beneficiary for the second dose at the same vaccination centre," the government said.
To avoid confusion and problems in physical queue management at COVID-19 Vaccination Centre (CVC), the central government has recommended that one particular CVC may be either fully reserved or their full capacity is opened for online self-appointment.
On the other hand, if a CVC has both reserved and open slots, session timings for open slots must be carefully selected to avoid overlap of beneficiaries.
On Saturday, the government informed that from March 1, the nationwide vaccination program is now to be exponentially expanded to all citizens above 60 years of age, and those within the age bracket of 45 to 59 years with specified co-morbidities.
"Health Departments of State governments have already initiated dialogue with these private hospitals so that they can be encouraged to participate in this drive as CVCs. A list of all these private hospitals has been uploaded on the website of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the National Health Authority," the government said in a release.
In addition, there would be government health facilities that will be used as CVCs such as medical college hospitals, district hospitals, sub-divisional hospitals, CHCs, PHCs, Health Sub Centres and Health and Wellness Centres. Geo reference maps with GPS coordinates of all these health facilities have been prepared that will serve as CVCs and these Geo referenced maps are being shared with the states, the release said.
The Central government also said that states were informed about the three methods of registration, i.e., advance self-registration, onsite registration and facilitated cohort registration.
States have been informed that private hospitals functioning as CVCs can charge subject to a ceiling of Rs 250 per person per dose along with the electronic and financial management mechanism in this regard. User names and passwords to be provided to the private facilities to facilitate effective use of Co-WIN 2.0, were also discussed during the meeting.
In addition, mapping of private facilities with the nearest cold chain points to ensure a seamless flow of vaccines to them was explained to the states.
The simplified system of certifying people with 20 co-morbidities within the 45-59 years age group was also explained to the states. The simplified one-page certificate is to be signed by any registered medical practitioner. The certificate can either be uploaded on Co-WIN2.0 by the beneficiary while self-registering or a hard copy can be carried by the beneficiary to the CVC.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16, 2021. The vaccination of the frontline workers started on February 2. (ANI)