Coronavirus | All over 45 to get COVID-19 vaccination jab from April 1

Government drops need for a certificate on co-morbidity.

Updated - March 23, 2021 10:35 pm IST

Published - March 23, 2021 05:39 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Hand of support: A senior citizen after being vaccinated at a hospital in Dwarka, Delhi on Monday. V.V. kRISHNAN

Hand of support: A senior citizen after being vaccinated at a hospital in Dwarka, Delhi on Monday. V.V. kRISHNAN

Citizens above the age of 45, irrespective of co-morbidities, will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination from April 1, the government announced on Tuesday. At present, only citizens above 60 and those over 45 with co-morbidities are allowed to get the vaccination.

“This decision has been taken by the Union Cabinet on the basis of the advice of the COVID task force and experts,” said Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, while making an appeal to eligible citizens to register for vaccination. According to him, over 4.85 crore people had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

 

He added 80 lakh have received the second dose so far.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has on Tuesday written to States/UTs stating that while the government has expanded the prioritised age group to include all persons aged 45 years and above for COVID-l9 vaccination, accordingly there will now be no need for a comorbidity certificate for people aged 45 years to 59 years, from April 1.

“The CoWIN software is also being suitably modified for doing away with the need for confirmation of co-morbidities at the time of online registration and on-site registration or for uploading the co-morbidity certificate at the time of vaccination,” he said.

The Secretary added that the registration on Co-Win would begin from April 1. . The cut-off date for the 45+ years category is those persons born before January 1, 1977, the Health Ministry said.

“While ensuring wider dissemination of information of such expansion amongst citizens for increased uptake of vaccination services the special focus should be given on optimal utilization of the capacity of COVID-l9 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) while minimising the wastage of vaccines,” noted Mr. Bhushan in his letter.

“While ensuring wider dissemination of information of such expansion amongst citizens for increased uptake of vaccination services the special focus should be given on optimal utilization of the capacity of COVID-l9 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) while minimising the wastage of vaccines,” noted Mr. Bhushan in his letter.

Meanwhile with India currently seeing a surge in COVID cases former national president of the Indian Medical Association Ravi Wankhedkar said there is an urgent need to rework the vaccination strategy and encourage “vaccination on demand” to eligible people, high risk people, frontline workers in all fields and those interacting with large numbers everyday and exposed to risk of infection.

“Fortunately India is having more than adequate vaccine production capacity and we should involve the private health sector in a greater way to increase reach of vaccination and decrease vaccine hesitancy. Instead of generalised lockdowns, speedy massive vaccination along with effective disease surveillance should be urgently implemented,” he said. 

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