Hyderabad: The third phase of Covid-19 vaccination, for those older than 60 years, and those between 45 and 59 years, but with an identified comorbidity, will begin in Telangana along with the rest of the country on Monday morning.
The vaccines will be given at 91 hospitals and health centres in the state, both government-run and private ones.
Online registration for receiving the first dose by beneficiaries in these two ages and comorbidities related cohorts will begin at 9 am on Monday. Those wishing to receive the vaccine can log in at cowin.gov.in after 9 am Monday, pick a time slot and a hospital of their choice and arrive there a few minutes ahead of their scheduled slot.
Those in the comorbidities cohort will also need to upload a certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner with an MBBS degree that they suffer from one of the 20 listed health conditions.
“All the doctors registered with the Indian Medical Association have been informed about the certificate. Or people can download it, take a printout and consult their doctor on getting the vaccine, get it signed and upload it while registering for a slot,” Director of Health Services, Dr G. Srinivasa Rao told the media here on Sunday.
The Phase III vaccination will be a soft launch in selected locations, he said.
“As days go by, we will be adding more and more centres. We will also be putting in place a system to help those with comorbidities so that they get the required certificate. They need to take with them their medical records and show those to a doctor at the vaccination centre, who will then be able to give appropriate advice to such individuals,” he said.
Director of Medical Education Dr K. Ramesh Reddy said the protocols for the Phase III vaccination will be the same as that for healthcare and frontline workers.
“There will be arrangements for people to wait for half an hour as part of the post-vaccination observation. Arrangements will also be made for the elderly who may turn up for vaccination by providing them with wheelchairs. There will be a doctor on duty at every centre to keep a watch on the beneficiaries, answer their questions and provide them with advice,” Dr Ramesh Reddy said.
According to Dr Srinivasa Rao, once a person receives his or her first vaccine dose, an appointment will be given at the vaccination centre for the second dose. “Ideally, the second dose should be taken 28 days after the first dose. Our recommendation is that people should take it as per the schedule given to them,” he said.
The beneficiaries will not have a choice to pick which vaccine to take from the two– Covishield developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech. “We send the vaccines to the hospitals as we receive them. Both are effective and protect the recipients from Covid. Once both doses are taken, the beneficiary will be able to download a vaccination certificate from the Cowin website,” he said.