25 lakh sign up for COVID jab on Day 1 of expanded rollout

Government clarifies there is no app for signing up

March 01, 2021 02:18 pm | Updated March 02, 2021 10:08 am IST - NEW DELHI

Senior citizens waiting to register their names for COVID-19 vaccination at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality hospital in New Delhi on March 1, 2021.

Senior citizens waiting to register their names for COVID-19 vaccination at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality hospital in New Delhi on March 1, 2021.

Twenty-five lakh potential beneficiaries had registered on the Co-Win portal on Monday, the first day of the second phase of COVID vaccination covering those over 60 and people with specified co-morbidities, over the age of 45, the Union Health Ministry said.

“Out of this, 24.5 lakh are citizens and the rest are healthcare workers (HCWs) and frontline workers. About 6.44 lakh appointments were booked today by the citizen beneficiaries,” the Ministry said.

Also read: Phase 2 of vaccination begins on March 1 amid a COVID-19 surge

It added that a total of 1,47,28,569 vaccine doses have been given so far, as per the provisional report till 7 p.m. on Monday and these include 66,95,665 HCWs who have taken the 1st dose and 25,57,837 HCWs who have taken the 2nd dose; 53,27,587 frontline workers (1st dose), 1,28,630 beneficiaries more than 60 years old and 18,850 beneficiaries aged 45 and above with specific co-morbidities.

However, the first day of the wider roll out saw several glitches in registration, with beneficiaries complaining about unavailability of slots, forcing the Health Ministry to issue a clarification stating that “Registration and booking for appointment for COVID vaccination is done through CoWIN Portal — cowin.gov.in. There is no CoWin App for beneficiary registration. The App on Play Store is for administrators only.”

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the Covaxin vaccination at the AIIMS early in the day, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, told ANI that the PM was leading by example.

“I have been saying from the beginning that both our vaccines are safe and perfect as far as immunogenicity is concerned. We are thankful to the Prime Minister. He has always told us that you have to lead by example. He took the jab first when the vaccination of people above 60 years has begun,” said the Minister.

Also read: COVID-19 vaccination for 60 years and above starts in Delhi

The Health Minister added that Mr. Modi took Covaxin, against which a lot of misinformation was spread even when it was scientifically perfect. “I think the Prime Minister has given a clear message to the country. All misinformation and hesitancy should be buried once and for all,’’ he said.

The Minister encouraged all eligible beneficiaries to come forward and take the vaccine. “I will do the booking today and I plan to get vaccinated tomorrow,” he added.

Also read: PM Modi takes first jab of COVAXIN against COVID-19

The COVID vaccine is being offered free-of-cost at government COVID Vaccination Centers (CVC) while private centres are offering this at a capped price of ₹250 per dose.

The Ministry also said the Centre is supplying the two approved vaccines for use in India — Covishield and Covaxin — and added that so far the beneficiaries will not have a choice on which vaccine will be administered to them.

To ramp up the COVID vaccination capacity around 10,000 private hospitals have been empanelled under Ayushman Bharat PMJAY, more than 600 hospitals have been empanelled under Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and other private hospitals empanelled under State governments’ health insurance schemes can participate as CVCs.

The Health Ministry also clarified that Supreme Court judges will not be allowed to choose the COVID vaccine and that the inoculation process will be done entirely through the Co-Win System. 

“Government Facility (CGHS Dispensary) within the Supreme Court to be used,” said the Ministry. Tyhe clarification came after reports that sitting and retired Supreme Court judges will get vaccine shots from Tuesday and that they could choose between Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Serum Institute of India’s Covishield as their first shot.

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