With Phase-II of COVID-19 vaccination having begun from March 1st, India’s fight against the pandemic is picking up pace. The first phase, which commenced on January 16th, saw healthcare workers (HCWs) and other categories of frontline workers (FLWs) eligible for vaccination. The second phase targets two categories:
1. Persons aged 60 and above
2. Persons between 45 to 59 years of age who have a specified comorbidity (scroll down for list of comorbidities).
For monitoring and streamlining the vaccination process throughout the country, the government has created a digital platform, CoWIN (COVID-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network). CoWIN is designed to help keep track of vaccinations taking place across the country and share data with relevant agencies for monitoring and further decision making.
CoWIN is also being used by citizens in the second phase for booking vaccination slots at the designated centres.
In this explainer, we take you through all the questions and answers related to Phase-II of COVID-19 vaccination.
How to register on CoWIN portal?
- Those who are eligible under Phase-II need to open the CoWIN portal at www.cowin.gov.in and click on the “Register Yourself” option.
- After clicking on the “Register Yourself” option, the portal will ask for your mobile number and SMS a One Time Password (OTP) to that number.
- After entering the OTP, you will be taken to a page titled “Register for Vaccination”.
- You will be required to fill the following details:
- After completing the form, click the “Register” button. You will receive a confirmation message – Beneficiary Successfully Registered.
- Once successfully registered, you will be able to see “Account Details”. A registered beneficiary is allowed to add three more beneficiaries using the same mobile number.
- For adding more beneficiaries, the registered beneficiary has to click on the “Add More” option and fill the same details of the new names as for the original beneficiary.
- Beneficiaries can also be removed using the dustbin icon under the “Action” column.
How to take an appointment on CoWIN portal?
- After successfully registering on the CoWIN portal, the beneficiary can book an appointment from the account details page.
- Click the “Schedule” button under the action column or click on “Schedule Appointment” button. Choose one.
- Clicking on Schedule Appointment button will open a “Book Appointment for Vaccination” page. Select the vaccination centre of your choice. You will have to enter State, District, Block and Pin Code from the dropdown menus.
- After entering the required details, click on “Search” and the system will display the list of vaccination centres as per your search criteria. The vaccination “Center Name” will be displayed on the right panel of the page.
- On clicking on the centre of your choice on the panel, the available slots (date and capacity) will be displayed. You can also check the availability for the following week by clicking on “Next Week” button.
- After selecting the centre and time slot, you need to click on the “Book” button and you will be redirected to the “Appointment Confirmation” page. Click the “Confirm” button after verifying the details.
- An “appointment successful” message will appear on your screen. You can also click the “Download” button to download appointment confirmation. Beneficiaries need to show the appointment confirmation at the centre on the vaccination date.
Do note that the Co-WIN website is the only place for registration for common citizens and the Co-WIN mobile application is only for administrators.
Can offline registration be done?
Yes. Besides advance online registration, on-site walk-in registration can be done. Citizens can go to their nearest vaccination centre (Urban Community Health Centres (UCHCs) or private hospitals) with valid identity proof such as Aadhaar, Voter ID, driving license, PAN card, pension document with photographs, etc. for on-site registration.
People above 45 years of age with comorbidities should carry a letter stating the comorbid conditions and any medication taken for the same.
Can an appointment be rescheduled?
Yes, the portal gives the beneficiary an option to reschedule the appointment. The fixed appointment can be rescheduled for a later slot but must be done before the day of vaccination.
- Enter the CoWIN website. Enter the already registered mobile number, receive the OTP and enter the OTP to login.
- Once logged in, go to the “Account Details” page and click the “Reschedule” button under the “Actions” column.
- After clicking the reschedule button, the beneficiary can reselect the centre based on dropdown menus for State, District, Block and Pin Code.
- After selecting the centre and timing slot, you need to click “Book” button and you will be redirected to “Appointment Confirmation” page. Click “Confirm” button after verifying the details for final confirmation on the rescheduled booking.
- Appointment successful message will appear on your screen. Beneficiary must show the appointment confirmation at the centre on the rescheduled vaccination date.
How to book an appointment for the second dose?
Once the first dose is administered, the beneficiary will be automatically scheduled for appointment for the second dose at the same centre.
When to take the second dose of vaccination and can slot for the second dose be rescheduled?
Second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered 29 days after the first dose. The beneficiary can change the slot for the second dose but only between 29th day to 42nd day. However, this option will be available under the following conditions:
I. Only if the first dose has been administered, and
II. Only at those vaccination centres where the vaccine type is the same as the one used in the first dose.
What are the options for cancellation of doses?
Beneficiary can cancel only the first dose appointment. However, on doing so, the appointment of both doses will be cancelled.
What are the timings for booking and documents required?
Slots will be open from 9 am till 3 pm, and appointments can be booked any time before 3 pm subject to availability. Also, there will be only one live appointment for a beneficiary at any point of time for each dose.
The beneficiary will be required to carry following documents on the vaccination date (both walk in/online registration):
- Aadhar Card
- The Photo ID Card of which the details have been provided
- Mobile phone through which he\she has registered;
- Appointment receipt (in case of online registration)
- Comorbidity certificate (for beneficiaries in the 45 to 59 age group)
Comorbidity certificate shall be signed by a Registered Medical Practitioner.
Following documents can be used for Photo ID card:
- Aadhar Card/Letter
- Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC)
- Driving License
- PAN Card
- NPR Smart Card
- Pension Document with photograph
What kind of healthcare facilities are eligible for administering the vaccine?
In the second phase, both government and private hospitals are allowed to administer vaccination shots. Private healthcare facilities will include:
- All Hospitals empaneled under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
- All Hospitals empaneled under the Central Government Health Scheme.
- All Hospitals empaneled under the health insurance scheme(s) of any state/UT government.
Private hospitals not empanelled under the above mentioned three categories have also been permitted to operate as COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs) if they have adequate number of vaccinators, adequate space for observation of the vaccinated, adequate cold chain arrangement and adequate arrangement for management of AEFI. States/UTs can proactively make efforts to use these private hospitals as CVCs.
Vaccination is free at government healthcare facilities whereas private healthcare facilities will charge Rs. 250 per dose.
Where can one find the list of private hospitals?
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has uploaded two lists of all the empanelled private hospitals on its website.
What are the notified comorbidities?
The Health Ministry has notified 20 comorbidities, listed below, for people in the 45-59 age group.
- Heart Failure with hospital admission in past one year
- Post Cardiac Transplant/Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)
- Significant Left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVEF <40%)
- Moderate or Severe Valvular Heart Disease
- Congenital heart disease with severe PAH or Idiopathic PAH
- Coronary Artery Disease with past CABG/PTCA/MI AND Hypertension/Diabetes on treatment
- AnginaANDHypertension/Diabetes on treatment
- CT/MRI documented stroke AND Hypertension/Diabetes on treatment
- Pulmonary artery hypertension AND Hypertension/Diabetes on treatment
- Diabetes (> 10 yearsORwith complications) AND Hypertension on treatment
- Kidney/ Liver/ Hematopoietic stem cell transplant: Recipient/On wait-list
- End Stage Kidney Disease on haemodialysis/ CAPD
- Current prolonged use of oral corticosteroids/ immunosuppressant medications
- Decompensated cirrhosis
- Severe respiratory disease with hospitalizations in last two years/FEV1 <50%
- Lymphoma/ Leukaemia/ Myeloma
- Diagnosis of any solid cancer on or after 1st July 2020 ORcurrently on any cancer therapy
- Sickle Cell Disease/ Bone marrow failure/ Aplastic Anemia/ Thalassemia Major
- Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases/ HIV infection
- Persons with disabilities due to Intellectual disabilities/ Muscular Dystrophy/ Acid attack with involvement of respiratory system/ Persons with disabilities having high support needs/ Multiple disabilities including deaf-blindness
Who are excluded from the vaccination process?
Those falling within the following categories are not included in the vaccination process:
- Persons with a history of an allergic reaction to a previous dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
- Persons with an allergic reaction to vaccines or injectable therapies, pharmaceutical products, and food items.
- Pregnant and lactating women, and women who are unsure of their pregnancy status.
What kind of disclosure should be made by the beneficiary at the time of vaccination?
Beneficiary shall make the following disclosure at the vaccination centre before getting vaccinated:
- If he/she ever has had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) after any drug, food, any vaccine, or any ingredients of the Covid-19 vaccine.
- The beneficiary has to mention if he/she has a fever.
- If she has a bleeding disorder or is on a blood thinner.
- If she is immunocompromised or is on a medicine that affects the immune system.
Can a person walk in for vaccination?
States have been directed to reserve a few mobilisation slots. Some centres will have a walk in facility where registration, appointment and verification will be done on-site.
(All screenshots taken from the Ministry of Health and other Ministry resources.)