A "safe and effective" vaccine against novel coronavirus will soon become a reality in India. Pfizer, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have applied for market authorisation for their vaccines. The vaccination drive will begin as soon as the country approves the emergency use of any of the vaccine candidates.
Meanwhile, the central government has prepared a plan for a mass vaccination drive. During the first stage, approximately 30 crore people will receive an jab. Here is all you need to know about India's vaccination programme.
Who will get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available?
The COVID-19 vaccine will first be offered to healthcare workers, frontline workers, and people over the age of 50. Based on the pandemic and its course, people younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities will get the vaccine. Depending on the epidemiology of the disease and the availability of the vaccine, the rest of the population will be vaccinated at a later date. The Ministry of Health stated that vaccination against the Coronavirus will be voluntary.
The National Group of Experts on Vaccine Management for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) recommended that priority population groups will specifically be vaccinated. It Includes: (1) Approximately 1 crore, healthcare workers (HCWs) healthcare providers and workers in healthcare setting, (ii) about 2 crore frontline Workers (FLWs)which includes personnel from state and central police, armed forces, home guards, civil defence and disaster management volunteers, municipal workers, (iii) approximately 27 crore prioritized Age Group population above 50 years and persons below 50 years with associated co-morbidities.
Registration for the COVID-19 vaccine:
The COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) system, a digital platform, will be used to track registered recipients of vaccination and anti-coronavirus vaccines in real time. At the vaccination site, only pre-registered recipients will be vaccinated according to priorities. There will be no provision for online recordings.
The central government recently said: "The latest Lok Sabha electoral roll for Lok Sabha and legislative assembly election will be used to determine the population aged 50 years or more
It added that 12 photocopied identity documents, including voter ID, Aadhar card, driver's license, passport and pension document, will be required to automatically register on the Co-WIN website.
COVID-19 vaccination guidelines:
States have been asked to allocate the vaccine from one manufacturer to a district to avoid mixing of different COVID-19 vaccines in the field, and all measures must be taken to avoid exposing the vaccine carrier, vaccine vials, or ice packs in direct sunlight, they mentioned the guidelines. The document said: "The vaccines and diluents must remain inside the vaccine holder with the lid closed until the beneficiary arrives at the vaccination center."
"There may not be vaccine vial monitors (VVM) and Date of Expiry on the label of COVID-19 vaccine, and this should not discourage vaccinators from using the vaccine. At the end of the vaccine session, the vaccine holder with all ice packs is unopened and the vaccine vials must be returned to a Cold Chain Distribution point.
The Union Health Ministry also promised to provide "one needle, One syringe, Only one time" and prepared guidelines for the safe disposal of used injections. The center has directed states to ensure safe injection practices during the biggest vaccination programme to be held in India.
"Always use Auto-disable (AD) syringes during a COVID-19 vaccination campaign. These injections prevent the transmission of bloodborne pathogens from person to person. Use a new, sterile, antioxidant-filled syringe for each injection for each beneficiary," the guidelines stated.
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