As Bharat Biotech is aiming to launch its vaccine — Covaxin — in February, which could be the first vaccine available in India, the Centre is finalising the vaccine delivery procedure, including identifying the priority groups that will be administered the vaccine first and at no cost.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan had said states have been asked to identify group of priority beneficiaries. A total of 30 crore priority beneficiaries will get vaccine dose in the initial phase.
Four categories have been broadly identified so far:-
1.One crore healthcare professionals: Apart from doctors, nurses and ASHA workers, this group includes MBBS students as well.
2. Two crore frontline workers: This group comprises municipal corporation workers, police personnel and personnel belonging to armed forces.
3.Twenty-six crore people aged above 50: As aged people are at a greater risk of contracting Covid-19, people aged above 50 will also be treated as a priority group.
4.One crore special category people: This group will include those below 50 but with co-morbidities.
Vaccines administration to these people will be free.
Centre has already asked states to set up task force to streamline the vaccination drive for which the existing eVIN (Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network)platform.
The beneficiaries will be tracked through Aadhaar, but it won’t be a mandatory. In case a person doesn’t have an Aadhaar card, any government photo identity will be used.