New Delhi: As the country gears up to inoculate people above 60 years of age and those over 45 with comorbidities against COVID-19 from March 1, official sources on Thursday said these beneficiaries would be able to register themselves on the Co-WIN platform from Monday itself.
There will also be a walk-in provision for the beneficiaries to get themselves registered at the session sites.
Everyone above 60 years of age and those over 45 years with comorbidities will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine from March 1 for free at government facilities and for a charge at a number of private hospitals, the Centre said on Wednesday.
"The eligible beneficiaries would be able to register themselves on the Co-WIN platform from March 1 itself. There will also be a walk-in provision for the beneficiaries to get themselves registered at a nearby session site to get vaccinated," R S Sharma, Chairman of the Empowered Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Administration, said.
He said the new version of the Co-WIN platform will be GPS-enabled and the beneficiaries will have the option to choose the inoculation session site both at the government and private facilities.
There will be volunteers to help those opting for walk-in registration with the process if they are not tech-savvy.
Co-WIN, a digital platform, was created for real-time monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine delivery.
One will also have the option to get inoculated in a state different from his or her home state.
People aged above 45 years will have to upload a medical certificate mentioning their comorbid conditions. The government is yet to specify the conditions that would be included in the over-45 age group with comorbidities.
"Co-WIN will be able to take registrations and appointments from multiple applications, including Aarogya Setu or any other application such as a common service app," Sharma said.
A beneficiary will just have to register with his mobile number and in turn, will receive an OTP with which his account will be created. One can also get their family members registered on the account.
The second phase of the world's largest vaccination drive will start from Monday, in which anybody above 60 years, that may not be less than 10 crore people in the country, and above 45 years with co-morbidities will be administered the vaccine at 10,000 government medical facilities and over 20,000 private hospitals, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday.
"Whoever goes to a government centre will be administered the vaccine free of cost. The Indian government will pay for them. The government will purchase the necessary doses and send them to all the states," he said.
Those who want to get vaccinated at private hospitals will have to pay and the amount will be decided by the health ministry within the next three-four days as it is in discussions with the vaccine manufacturers as well as the hospitals, Javadekar said.
Asked if people would have a choice as regards which vaccine -- Covishield or Covaxin -- they want to take, the minister said the country is proud to have two vaccines, both of which are effective with proven efficacy.
While Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India in Pune, Covaxin is being produced by Bharat Biotech.