India Ready To Rollout Covid-19 Vaccine, Drug Regulator Approval Awaited

After the expert panel of the drug regulator granted approval for the emergency use authorization of Oxford AstraZeneca's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said that India was ready for a mass rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in the next 10 to 14 days after the expert panel of the drug regulator made its recommendation on Saturday for the emergency use authorization of Oxford AstraZeneca’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin COVID-19 vaccines.

The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) will hold a press conference on Sunday, 3 January 2021, and an announcement for the approval of the two vaccines is awaited.

On Friday, the Subject Expert Committee of CDSCO recommended the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine for emergency use, while on Saturday the expert panel recommended that the Bharat Biotech Covid-19 vaccine applicant Covaxin be approved for restricted emergency use in India.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan announced that the COVID-19 vaccine will be given free of charge to all across the country.

During his visit to the Maternity & Child Welfare (MCW) Center in Daryaganj, the Minister told reporters about the dry run of administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The dry run for vaccination against COVID-19 began on Saturday in all States and UT governments in the entire country, with the intention of preparing for smooth COVID-19 vaccine inoculation when ready.

The aim according to the Ministry of Health of the Union is to assess operational feasibility in the use of COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) application in a field environment, to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges and guide the way forward prior to actual implementation.

In the first step, which will last almost eight months, the central government plans to innoculate almost 30 crore people. Health professionals, front-line, critical workers, and older people will be offered with comorbidities mainly over the age of 50 years.

How can you register for the vaccine?

In the later phases of implementation, the self-registration module will be made available.

Here’s how it will be done:

  • Self-register on the Website of CoWIN.
  • Upload the identity of the government photo or do AADHAAR authentication. Through biometrics, OTP, or demographics, authentication may occur.
  • Once enrolled, the vaccination date and time will be assigned
  • There will be no registration on the spot and only pre-registered beneficiaries will be permitted to continue with the vaccination process.
  • The session management in the CoWIN system would be responsible for the respective district administration. For the session and site distribution, they may authorize the beneficiaries. CoWIN will have an inbuilt monitoring and reporting mechanism.
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