Explained: What is the process to get COVID-19 vaccine and who will get it first?
New Delhi, Jan 02: The government is planning to provide vaccine to 30 crore people in India against the novel coronavirus disease in the next six to eight months, starting with the frontline workers. It can be seen that a dry run for the COVID-19 vaccine is underway across the country on Saturday to test the preparedness of the authorities before launching the actual vaccination programme.
The inoculation drive will start anytime soon after the regulator Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approves a vaccine. The DCGI head, V G Somani, recently hinted that India is likely to have a COVID-19 vaccine "in the New Year".
He also talked about the efforts made by the Department of Biotechnology and said, "probably we will have a very happy New Year with something in hand. That's what I can hint at."
Who will get the COVID-19 vaccine first?
According to reports, the vaccine will first be given to around one crore healthcare workers working in both government and private hospitals, according to the recommendation by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC).
It is also said that these healthcare workers have further been divided into sub-categories - frontline health and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) workers, nurses and supervisors, medical officers, paramedical staff, support staff and students.
Frontline and municipal workers associated with the state and central Police department, armed forces, home guard, disaster management and civil defense organisation, prison staff, municipal workers and revenue officials engaged in COVID-19 containment, surveillance and associated activities are next in line to get the vaccine.
After these groups get their vaccine, population above 50 years of age will get their dose. This group is divided into two sub-categories: Above 60 and 50-60 years of age.
States and Union Territories will have the generic flexibility to do priority phasing of the rollout for the identified priority groups (as decided by the NEGVAC) in identified geographical areas where the COVID-19 infection prevalence is high.
After these people, who are on priority list gets their vaccine, the remaining population will be inoculated. The vaccination will depend on the disease epidemiology and vaccine availability.