If you’ve been waiting to get access to the new covid-19 vaccines, now is your chance. The Indian government had announced that the vaccines would be available for everyone over the age of 18 soon, and registrations for the same start from today. This is the fourth phase of the country’s vaccination drive and it will officially begin from May 1, though you can start registering from 4pm today. Don’t get your hopes up too much though, while India has indeed vaccinated many people, we have a ludicrously high population count as well and the new drive just increases the number of people to be vaccinated.
In fact, reports say that the Serum Institute of India (SII), which is manufacturing the Covishield vaccine, has promised some states supply only after May 15. States are allowed to vaccinate all 18-44 year olds, but they can only do so out of the quote of the vaccines that’s allotted to them. At the moment, the centre takes 50% of the total vaccines being manufactured in the country, which are then sent to states. These vaccines can only be used for vaccinating people who are older than 45.
Essentially, that means that 18-44 year olds will not get the preference when it comes to getting vaccination shots. States are procuring vaccines from SII and Bharat Biotech right now, with Bharat Biotech producing the Covaxin vaccine, which has been in much shorter supply than Covishield so far.
“I would like to reiterate that the Government of India supply of vaccines will not be used for persons beyond the existing priority groups i.e. Health Care Workers, Front Line Workers and persons aged 45 years and above. Vaccination of any persons between 18-44 years age-group has to be done through the vaccine supplies procured by ‘Other than Government of India Channel’ i.e. State/UT governments, Private hospitals and Hospitals of Industrial establishments. I request you to kindly communicate the above mentioned directive to the concerned officials so that uninterrupted vaccine supply can be ensured for the prioritised groups,” Manohar Aghani, Additional Secretary at the Union Health Ministry said in a letter to Additional Chief Secretaries and Principal Secretaries of various State Health ministries earlier this week.
The registration procedure for the vaccine will be the same as it was so far. You will have to go to the government’s Cowin portal and register yourself there.
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