Phase III of the country’s largest vaccination drive has been officially launched from May 1, 2021, where the youth of the country aged between 18 to 44 years will get themselves vaccinated. Remember, the vaccine, whichever you take, does not make you immune from the virus. But it does reduce the severity of its effects.
With the new order, the government has made it compulsory for all above 18 years to get vaccinated. However, due to the surge of COVID cases in India, a few states have delayed the vaccination drive, though registrations began on April 28, 2021. This has inevitably led to chaos and confusion, with vaccine stocks in cities falling far short of the number of people eligible to receive it.
Under the circumstances, it is imperative to answer some critical and frequently asked questions (FAQs), especially for the newly added target group aged 18 to 44 years.
Where can I register?
The registrations can be done online by booking appointment through Co-Win portal (www.cowin.gov.in). Click on “Register/Sign in Yourself” tab. You can also click on “Register through Aarogya Setu”. There is no authorized mobile app for registering except Aarogya Setu. Alternatively, you can register for vaccination through the Aarogya Setu App.
I am 21 years old. Can I also register?
Yes, all citizens aged 18 years and above can register for vaccination.
Can I opt for on-spot registration if I am 21 years old?
No, citizens aged 18-44 years should mandatorily register themselves and schedule appointment online before going to vaccination centre. However, citizens aged 45 years and above can schedule appointments online or walk into a vaccination centre, as vaccination centres provide limited number of on-spot registrations. However, all citizens are recommended to register online and schedule vaccination for a hassle-free vaccination experience.
Can I book an appointment for vaccination in the Co-WIN portal?
Yes, you can book appointments for vaccination through Co-WIN portal after logging in to the Co-WIN Portal using your registered mobile number. The system will show vaccination centres that allow vaccination as per the age of the citizen entered in the registration portal.
How many people can register with my mobile number?
Up to four people can register using the same mobile number.
I do not have access of smart phone or computer. How can I register?
Up to four people can be registered for vaccination using the same mobile number. You can take help from friends or family for online registration through their number.
Which ID proofs I can use to register?
You can register for vaccination using any of the following ID proofs-
a. Aadhaar Car
b. Driving License
c. PAN card
e. Pension Passbook
f. NPR Smart Card
g. Voter ID Card (EPIC)
h. Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour
i. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Job Car
j. Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs
k. Passbooks issued by Bank/Post Office
l. Service Identity Card issued to employees by Central/ State Govt./ Public Limited Companies
m. People with comorbidities will have to carry the certificate of comorbidities, in the format shared on the website of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Are there any registration charges to be paid?
No. There is no registration charge.
What is the price of the vaccines?
So far, the vaccination has been free at government hospitals and Rs. 250 was charged at private centres. But from May 1st, this policy will cease to exist. Every age group will have to pay for the vaccine. For people aged between 18 to 44 years, the respective states will announce their policies. Most states have announced that vaccination will be free of cost at government centres. However, private hospitals will decide the costs as their private centres.
What will it cost me?
The pricing of vaccines is still to be finalized. While a number of state governments including Himachal Pradesh and Punjab have declared free vaccination for all at government vaccination centres, others are still to decide on this. Presently, the vaccine is being made available free of cost to citizens above 45 years at government centres, while it costs Rs 250 in private hospitals.
The Serum Institute of India (SII) had earlier reduced the price of Covishield vaccines for states from Rs 400 to Rs 300. For private hospitals the vaccine is priced at Rs 600. The vaccines are available to the Union government at Rs 150 per dose. Similarly, Bharat Biotech too had reduced the price of Covaxin from Rs 600 to Rs 400 for the states. Covaxin is available at Rs 150 per dose to the Centre.
The procurement price for private hospitals remains Rs 1200 per dose. Individuals will be able to view the price of vaccines at government as well as private centres while scheduling an appointment.
What are the options for combined appointments if my mother/father is aged 50 and I am 21 years old?
If one citizen is aged 45 or above and another falls in the 18 to 44 years category, and both want to schedule a combined appointment, then only private paid vaccination centres or vaccination centres as per the state’s policy will be made available. However, it may happen that some hospitals which are catering to people with 45 years or more may not allow the booking of appointments for people with lesser age. In that case you may make bookings one by one.
How will I know which vaccination has been administered to me?
While scheduling an appointment for vaccination in private hospitals, the system will show the name of the vaccine which will be administered along with the vaccination centre details (name). Government hospitals may not show the name of the vaccine and you will get to know when you receive the shot.
How can I find the nearest vaccination centre?
For a vaccination centre nearest to your location, you can either search through PIN code or by choosing the State and the District.
Can I reschedule my appointment if I was unable to go on date of appointment?
In case you could not go for vaccination on the date of appointment, you can reschedule the appointment by clicking on “Reschedule” tab. It can be rescheduled at any time.
Can I cancel my scheduled appointment?
Yes, you can cancel or reschedule the scheduled appointment and choose another date or time slot.
I am a COVID patient. Can I take the vaccine?
It has been suggested that you wait for 90 days from the day you test positive for COVID-19 disease, if you haven’t received any shot yet. People who got infected after receiving their first shot may take the second dose on their scheduled date, but only if their quarantine period is over and they do not have any symptoms.
Helpline to report vaccine side effects:
- Helpline Number: +91-11-23978046 (Toll free- 1075)
- Helpline Email Id: email@example.com
#GetYourSelfVaccinated #StaySafe #WearMask
It’s been six weeks since I took my first dose of Covishield/Covaxin but my centre has run out of stock. What should I do? Will my first dose be rendered ineffective if I don’t get the second?
The risk of getting COVID-19 is lowest if you get both shots. But the protection from one shot may not last as long as the protection from both shots, particularly against some of the newer virus variants. So it is best to try and get the second jab within eight weeks.
I’ve read about the approval for Sputnik: When will they start to administer that?
Doses of Sputnik V have arrived in India. But its administration will start in end of May or early June, as prices have not yet been decided.
Vaccine shortage and implementation in some states
Better late than never. Finally the government has thrown open vaccination to all adults over 18 years of age. Unfortunately, this comes at a time when the country is facing a serious vaccine shortage with many states postponing the start of the drive for the 2.54 people18-44 age group who have registered for vaccination. For example, the states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, Chhatisgarh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and UT Chandigarh have expressed their inability to implement the vaccination drive owing to lack of adequate vaccine stocks.
A look at the ground situation in some of these states gives an idea on how the implementation of the vaccination drive has been impacted.
Chandigarh: “We have a stock of 1 lakh Covishield vaccines, which is reserved for the 45 and above age group,” said Manoj Parida, UT Chandigarh Advisor to the Administrator. “It is critical to deliver the second dose to citizens.” Parida added that the Administration has placed an order for one lakh doses, which it expects to receive in the next 15 days. “We will be able to implement vaccination for 18+ age group only after we receive the required stock. We have got a large number of registrations. We will inform the citizens who have registered about scheduling their appointments as soon as we have the requisite stock of vaccines”.
Punjab: Again, inadequate reserves of vaccines for the 18 to 45 age group. Health officials say that the vaccination program can at best be implemented in a phased manner and after mid-May.
Himachal Pradesh: In the same situation as Chandigarh. As per an internal Whatsapp note circulated to its medical staff involved with vaccination, the health authorities have stated: “Vaccination for 18 to 45 will only start after the state procures vaccine and we tell u to start the process of vaccination. This should be clear to all vaccination teams”.
Senior Health Department officials say that vaccination for the 18+ age group is expected to be delayed by three to four weeks due to non-availability of vaccines. The state has around 31 lakh individuals eligible for vaccination in the 18 to 44 age group which is expected to be delayed by three to four weeks, say senior health department officials. Also, the delay in providing information regarding the vaccines is creating confusion at vaccination centers. “Due to lack of any directions, people not in the know about appointments are sure to flock to the nearest vaccination center on May 1,” said Janmajay Singh Chauhan from Nahan in Sirmaur district.
Inputs from Raj Machhan