Covid-19 vaccination drive for people above the age of 45 begins from today
All Indians above the age of 45 will become eligible for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine from Thursday. The government announced this last month in a bid to speed up the process of inoculating the people of the country.
Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Dr R S Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority (NHA) and Chairperson, Empowered Group on Covid vaccination chaired a high-level meeting to review the status, pace, and issues regarding Covid vaccination across the country.
The nationwide vaccination drive was started by the government on January 16 with healthcare and frontline workers getting inoculated in the first phase. The next phase started from March 1 in which people above the age of 60 and 45+ with comorbidities were allowed to take Covid-19 vaccine shots.
According to the Union health ministry, advance appointments for vaccination can be booked through the Co-WIN website or by visiting the nearest vaccination center after 3 pm and getting on-site registration done.
Bhushan said that those who want to go for on-site registration need to go to their nearest vaccination centre with an identity document. The document can be an Aadhaar Card, voter ID, bank passbook, passport and ration card.
The decision to speed up the process of vaccination has been taken in the wake of a resurgence in the number of Covid-19 case in the past few weeks. India has been recording over 50,000 cases of the infection daily and the nationwide tally has crossed 12 million. The Centre said on Tuesday that the situation is turning from "bad to worse" and asked state government to ensure Covid-appropriate behaviour is followed.
The recent surge is powered by Maharashtra and seven other states which, according to health ministry, account for nearly 80 per cent of the total cases. The rate of positivity and number of active cases is also higher in these states, the ministry said.
India is using two Covid-19 vaccines for the inoculation drive - AstraZeneca-Oxford University's Covishield, which is manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII), and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.
An analysis done by HT projects that 50 million people will have received both shots of a vaccine by mid-May, after the opening of vaccination drive for all the people above the age of 45, if the country can keep administering an average of 4 million doses a day.