CoWIN to open for registration on March 1, walk-ins to likely supersede

Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine called COVAXIN
Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine called COVAXIN

New Delhi: Day one of third phase of Covid vaccination is likely to see walk-in registrations in huge numbers since the CoWIN portal is unlikely to be operational before March 1, officials told IANS.

"Senior citizens and people above 45 with co-morbidities will be allowed to self register via the portal or app only on Monday," informed an official from Union Health Ministry.

The government is upgrading the CoWIN which was being used in the initial two phases of the vaccination for immunisation of healthcare and frontline workers.

Vaccination will be provided free of charge at the government health facilities and will be on a payment basis in the private health facilities. All private hospitals can charge Rs 150 for vaccines and Rs 100 for service charges fixed by the central government on Saturday.

The ongoing vaccination drive will now reach around 27 crore people who are on the list of priority for vaccination after healthcare and frontline workers.

Around 10,000 hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY and 687 hospitals under CGHS can be used by states as Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs).

States are also given the freedom to use all Private Hospitals empanelled under State Government Health Insurance Schemes as CVCs.

In the case of self-registration, the CoWIN portal will provide the facility for booking an appointment based on the vaccination centres declared by the states/UTs, with their location, the dates on which appointment slots are provided and the capacity declared as Open Slots and the vacancies available at the time of booking.

However, such details pertaining to slots and availability of centres are yet to be worked out. A meeting of private hospitals with their state health secretaries is scheduled on Sunday 11am where they will be told the further modalities, the ministry official added.

Besides, all beneficiaries, regardless of the mode of access, i.e. through online registration or mobilisation through on-site registration are advised to carry the following for verification at the time of vaccination - Aadhaar Card; Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC); and Certificate of comorbidity for citizens in the age group of 45 years to 59 years.

An official will be present at the Vaccination Centre for verification of employment credentials and COVID duties for those who do walk in for on-site registration.

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