The government of India is calling on all citizens to join the fight against COVID-19 by registering for the vaccine here: https://www.cowin.gov.in/home .
For now, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), India has identified certain priority groups for early vaccination. You are eligible for vaccination if you match with any of these cases:
- You are a healthcare / frontline worker
- You are above 60 years of age
- You are above 45 years of age with a history of diagnosis for a critical illness
Two vaccines that have been granted emergency use authorization by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) in India are Covishield® (AstraZeneca’s vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin® (manufactured by Bharat Biotech Limited). However, as of now, you cannot choose which vaccine you will be getting. That will be decided based on local availability in your region.
From one mobile phone number, one can register up to 4 people, however, each person will need their own photo identification document. Once you complete the registration process, you will receive SMS on your registered mobile number about the due date and venue. Once you receive the first dose, a provisional certificate would be provided to you. On completion of second dose, when you receive the message for completion of schedule, it would include a link to download digital certificate of vaccination. You will need to save this certificate for future use.
Regarding safety of the vaccine, both the Indian COVID-19 vaccines have completed their Phase I & II trials (few hundreds of participants). Covishield® has completed its Phase III trials (thousands of participants) in UK and the bridging trial in India. Some contraindications (cases where you should avoid the vaccine) have also been mentioned for the vaccine, that include history of allergic reaction to vaccines, pregnancy, people already having COVID-19 symptoms, etc.,
If you have any more doubts regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, you can read the complete FAQ on this MoHFW page: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/covid_vaccination/vaccination/faqs.html#vaccine-registration
For those of us who are not eligible for the vaccine yet, there is not much we can do at this point to get the vaccine. But we can aid the fight against COVID-19 by wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, following guidelines laid out by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
How are you taking care of yourselves in these critical times? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.