Sunday, August 1, 2021

45+ with comorbidities will need doc certificate for jab: Govt – ET HealthWorld

NEW DELHI: People aged between 45 and 60 years having co-morbidities will just need a certificate from a registered medical practitioner — from the public or private sector — verifying that they have a disease that can increase the risk of infection, hence eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine on priority, according to officials.

While the government is yet to release a protocol for doctors, people in the specified age group and suffering from one or more identified co-morbidities like uncontrolled diabetes, heart disorders, chronic pulmonary, kidney diseases, any types of cancer, transplant patients, those on immune medication and morbid obesity conditions are eligible for the shots.

People with disabilities, neurological disorders like Parkinson’s or medical conditions that can result in higher chances of severe pneumonia, will be validated for vaccination, said officials involved in the rollout of the vaccines to cover an estimated 27 crore people in the 50 and above age group.

While registration for vaccination will be mandatory, there will be options for recipients to produce the medical certificate at centres, an official said on Thursday. There is no clarity yet on the number of slots that will be available for walk-ins.

Officials said the decision to expand the vaccination and also allow paid shots in private hospitals was taken after the drive stabilised. It was felt that the new and larger phase could be rolled out by early March. It is estimated that with vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers still continuing, and some in the category likely to have anti-bodies, the drive can be expanded. Even the new category is likely to have its share of vaccine hesitancy, but the wider pool of beneficiaries will make optimum use of the vaccination capacity.

The government on Wednesday announced that it would start the third round of inoculation after healthcare and frontline workers from March 1. The government has roped in over 20,000 private hospitals where an eligible person can pay and schedule vaccination, apart from 10,000 public health centres where shots will be given free of cost. The cost of Covishield shot is expected to be around Rs 300-400.

While preparations have begun at private hospitals, with many large ones set to organise multiple sessions, official intimation related to pricing and other guidelines are still awaited.

“Even though the severity scoring of a co-morbidity is difficult to assess for large-scale vaccination, we could look at the age through ID proof and have a letter from the doctor on any underlying chronic disease, which increases the risk of Covid infections and/or severity of the disease,” Manipal Hospitals chairman Dr Sudarshan Ballal said.

Apart from Co-Win, people will also have the option to register through web interface, Aarogya Setu, common service centres etc. They will be required to upload an identification document containing name, age, gender and photograph at the time of the registration.

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