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Covid jab phase-2 to start today

Shots for 60 + or 45+ with comorbidities even as pandemic’s 2nd wave picks up

India is all set to roll out the second phase of the vaccination drive from Monday to vaccinate people aged above 60 years and 45 years with co-morbidities in private and Government hospitals in the backdrop of worrying upward trends shown by Covid-19.

The country reported a single-day rise of 16,752 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest in the last 30 days, taking the overall tally to 1,10,96,731 on Sunday, said the Union Health Ministry, hoping that the accelerated vaccination drive will help make people safe from the infection.

The Covid-19 vaccine will be given free of cost at Government hospitals, while people will need to pay for it at private facilities. The private hospitals can charge up to Rs 250 per dose for the jab.

Citizens will be able to register and book an appointment for vaccination, anytime and anywhere, using the COWIN 2.0 portal or through other IT applications such as Aarogya Setu etc, said a statement from the Ministry.

It further said there will be only one live appointment for a beneficiary at any point of time for each dose. Appointments for any date for a Covid Vaccination Center will be closed at 3 pm on that day for which the slots were opened. For example, for March 1 the slots will be open from 9 am till 3 pm on the same day, and the appointments can be booked any time before that, subject to availability. However, on March 1 an appointment can also be booked for any future date for which vaccination slots are available.

It also stated, “The number of doses planned to be administered decided by respective State/UT Government for a Vaccination Cycle. Total vaccination slots for a vaccination cycle should not exceed the target number of doses.”

A User Guide for the Citizen Registration and Appointment for Vaccination has also been uploaded on the websites of the Ministry and National Health Authority (NHA).

The Ministry has also specified 20 comorbidities among people aged between 45 and 59 years who will get the vaccine — heart failure with hospital admission in past year, moderate or severe valvular heart disease, coronary artery disease, CT/ MRI-documented stroke, diabetes of over 10 years or with complications, hypertension, end-stage kidney disease on haemodialysis, diagnosis of any solid cancer on or after 2000 or currently on any cancer therapy.

About the surge in cases, the Ministry said six States —Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat — are behind the current Covid uptick in India and account for almost 86 per cent of the new cases.

Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 8,623, followed by Kerala with 3,792 while Punjab with 593 new cases. Madhya Pradesh and Haryana too have  joined the list in exhibiting a spike in daily new cases.

Monday, 01 March 2021 | PNS | New Delhi

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