Phase 2 of the Covid vaccination: people with comorbidities will need a medical certificate to receive the vaccine

Private hospitals participating in the Covid-19 vaccination campaign for high-risk groups will receive vaccines from the government for free and users may have to pay a nominal administrative cost to get vaccinated at these hospitals, government officials said.

Those who receive the vaccines will not be able to choose their vaccines, and people with comorbidities will need a medical certificate from a doctor before being vaccinated, said an official who was told of the second. phase of the vaccination campaign from March 1.

The government is also revamping the CoWin application, created to manage the vaccination campaign, which experienced some problems. The new version will offer users the option to get an appointment through the app, or they can go to the hospital and register on site, said
this official who attended the video conference hosted by the Department of Health to brief state governments on the Phase 2 deployment process.

State governments were assured that there was “enough” vaccine to begin deployment to groups other than healthcare and frontline workers.

There are currently two vaccines in use in India – Covishield, the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and the Covaxin by Bharat Biotech.

On Wednesday, the Union cabinet announced that private hospitals accredited under the Ayushman Bharat program and the central government health program would be mobilized to extend the vaccination campaign to high-risk groups such as people over the age of 18. 60 years and younger people with co-morbidities.

Several experts had previously called on the government to use private hospitals to meet its goal of vaccinating 30 crores of people in the high-risk category.

Hospitals will have the option to opt out of the vaccination campaign if they wish, officials said.

The private hospitals ET spoke to said they are still waiting for the fine print from the government on the registration process.

“The government has given instructions to the Center, but we are awaiting guidance on fees, provision of vaccines and opening the CoWin app for registration,” said Gautam Khanna, CEO of PD Hinduja Hospital. in Mumbai. “We have already told our team to prepare, our center is currently approved by BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) for the vaccination of internal hospital staff, but we are ready to open to the public when the government allows it.”

Hospital chain Max Healthcare also said it was waiting for more specific details but was ready.

Azad Moopen, founding president of Aster DM Healthcare, said the South India-based hospital chain will work in tandem with government policies and regulations. “We promise that Aster will support the government in successfully conducting the next segment of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign,” he told ET.

India’s total vaccination campaign as of February 25 was
1.30 croresAlthough in absolute terms India has vaccinated more than one crore of healthcare and frontline workers, the number of vaccines administered per 100 of its population is still low.

The resurgence of cases in states like Maharashtra,
Kerala, MP, raised concerns about a possible new wave. Against this background, vaccination of a large number of people is necessary to bring down the infection, the experts said.

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