India's drugs regulator on Sunday approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) granted the approval on the basis of recommendations by a COVID-19 Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
Meanwhile, confounded amid a sea of government notifications and orders, most Indians are rather unclear about the exact process that they need to undertake in order to be a part of the government's inoculation drive against the raging coronavirus disease.
Hence, for the purpose of all those concerned, we have pieced together all bits and pieces of instructions. Without further ado, here's the complete and detailed step-by-step guide for COVID-19 vaccine registration. Follow the prescribed process as detailed here:
1. Download the Co-WIN app available on Android and iPhone at the Google Play Store and the Apple AppStore for free, respectively. Register on the Co-WIN system using a valid Photo ID.
Note: Twelve photo-identity documents, including Voter ID, Aadhar card, driving license, passport and pension document, will be required for self-registration on the Co-WIN website
2. After keying yourself onto the system, you will receive an SMS message on the registered mobile number. A few details regarding this to remember -
i. The first SMS will be egenrated on confirmation of registration
ii. The second SMS will be generated mentioning the date, time, and place of vaccination
iii. The third SMS will be generated after the first dose of vaccination with due date for the next vaccine.
iv. The final SMS will be sent after the completion of the second dose, along with a link for the digital certificate for the same.
3. When you reach the predestined vaccination site, at the entry point a vaccination officer (they can be a police officer, home guard, civil defence, NCC, NSS or NYK cadre) will ask for the confirmation of registration (the first SMS that you received earlier). You will also need a Photo ID verification at this stage.
4. Another vaccination officer will authenticate or verify the documents on the Co-WIN service
5. It's finally time! Following the completion of all the aforementioned steps, you will receive the first dose of the vaccine from the vaccination officer.
6. Following the vaccination process, you will be asked to wait in the observation area for 30 minutes.
7. Other vaccination officers will ensure that you wait 30 minutes and will help in further guiding and monitoring the non-registered beneficiaries.
8. Done for now, but remember to come in for the second dose of the vaccine as per the due date mentioned in the SMS.
If one still feels like any of the above instructions are unclear, there's a government helpline number -- 1075 -- to further elucidate on the process.
Notably, the Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, has tied up with AstraZeneca to manufacture Covishield, while Covaxin has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday termed the approval of the emergency use of vaccines a "decisive turning point" in India's fight against the novel coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation has also welcomed the move, saying it will "help intensify and strengthen the fight against the pandemic in the region".