Excerpts from an interview with R S Sharma, chairman of Co-Win panel, on the government’s plan on the next phase of vaccination drive and its modalities.
Q: Next phase of inoculation starts on March 1. When will Co-Win 2.0 be launched?
R S Sharma: On March 1. Eligible beneficiaries would be able to self-register on March1itself or March 2. But we have a provision where people will have a walk-in system till the time the registration system is used by more and more people.
For walk-ins, people would be required to carry their basic documents such as identity and age proof.
Q: Please explain the process of self-registration.
R S Sharma: The process will be easy. Through your smartphones, you can log on to website Cowin.Gov.in or use Arogya Setu or any other application such as a common service app. What you need to do is just register in with your mobile number and you’ll get an OTP. Your account will be created and thereafter you can put your name, age, gender and an identity document that you will need to bring to the centre. You can add as many of four family members get registered on the account.
The idea is that if only one family member has a mobile then others can also come through that and get vaccinated.
60 plus will be registered automatically and for those between the age of 45 and 60, Co-Win 2.0 will ask for comorbidities clarification. You’ll have to say yes and will have to provide a certificate (signed by a doctor) for the same.
Once you have booked an appointment, you’ll have to carry the same document (for eg. driving license) that you provided while self-registration to the centre.
You will also have the option of choosing between a government or a private centre. At the government hospital vaccination will be free of cost and at a private hospital, you will have to pay the price decided by the government.
Q: What are the plans for the senior citizens who are not tech-savvy?
R S Sharma: People will have many options. You can go to the common service centres. There will also be a call centre number — 1507.
If you are not able to register anywhere, you can still walk-in to your nearest centre and if there’s a vacancy, you’ll get vaccinated. In fact, hospitals would be able to decide, if they have a capacity of 100 vaccines. They can say 50 could be through online and 50 could be walk-ins.
Q: Will people have an option of choosing which vaccine to get, Covaxin or Covishield?
R S Sharma: No. Both vaccines have equal efficacy and have been approved by the government. There is no reason for people to choose.
However, if vaccine A has been administered, then the second dose will also be the same. That is something that Co-Win will very closely monitor. Even if you go to a different hospital for a second dose, you will get the same vaccination you got the first time.