India started its mega vaccination drive today after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the program at 10:30 AM through video conferencing. Today, around 3,00,00 health care workers will be inoculated at 3006 sites across the nation. In the first phase, the vaccine will be administered to healthcare workers, sanitation workers and frontline workers. The vaccine for these high risk groups will be sponsored by the government.
There are many questions as to when the vaccine will be available to the public. It is theorized that close to 3 crore people will be vaccinated in the first phase, but these include only the population at the highest risk of contracting the virus. According to immunization officer Dr. Dilip Patil, it will take 6-7 months for the inoculation process to begin for the general public. The vaccination process will gradually shift to inoculating the masses and the government is aiming to vaccinate 30 crore people till September.
People will have to first register to at the Co-Win app to get inoculated, registration would require submission of a photo ID proof. The registered individual will get an SMS on their registered mobile number stating the date and time of their vaccination.
The process of vaccination is going to be similar to the voting process in election and beneficiaries would have to present their ID proof at the time of getting vaccinated as well. The Centre has already requested the Election Commission for voter’s data to facilitate the process.
There are a few outliers under which it is advised that the individual shouldn’t be vaccinated these include pregnant and lactating women and people with active symptoms of COVID-19. The vaccines are not publicly or privately available and it has been advised to the public to be vary of the any individual or organization that claims to possess any vaccine.