The Indian government has launched the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive across the country on March 1, 2021, for people above the age of 60, as well as those 45 years and older with comorbidities. Being the leader of the largest democracy in the world, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, inaugurated this immunization campaign and was foremost to take the first shot of the Covaxin COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS in New Delhi. The first phase of the COVID-19 inoculation operation in India was reserved specifically for doctors, nurses, healthcare staff and frontline workers, which began on January 15, 2021, regarded as the largest vaccination crusade worldwide. The national regulatory organisation - Drugs Controller General Of India (DCGI), which holds the responsibility of approving the use of licensed drugs, vaccines and IV fluids in the country, has authorised the administration of two COVID -19 vaccines. These are Covaxin, developed wholly in India by Bharat Biotech and Covishield, created by Oxford University, AstraZeneca and manufactured in India by the Serum Institute.

Also Read: COVID-19 Vaccinations FAQs: All You Need To Know Before Getting The Shot
Doctor giving vaccination

Certainly, doctors and scientists have clearly grasped the symptoms of COVID-19 by now, as well as outlined pertinent treatment measures of the infectious viral disease affecting the upper respiratory tract. Yet, COVID positive cases continue to be on the rise in many parts of India and thus the nation-wide vaccination drive is a crucial step in making the country COVID-free and preventing further loss of life. In this regard, a particular subset of the general population - individuals over 60 years and those aged 45 plus with comorbidities have been prioritized, owing to their high risk of contracting coronavirus infection. The official statement released by the health ministry lists 20 comorbid conditions, including heart failure, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and autoimmune ailments such as HIV infection. It is therefore essential for the general public to be aware of the specified comorbid conditions, as well as take all necessary precautions and follow the stipulated procedures, before visiting hospitals to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

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Read on, to know more about the key details of the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in India for people with comorbidities.

Which Comorbidities Qualify An Individual Above 45 Years To Take The COVID-19 Vaccine?

According to the official statement released by the health ministry in India, the following comorbidities are eligible to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

  1. Heart failure with hospital admission in the past year.
  2. Post-cardiac transplant/left ventricular assist device (LVAD).
  3. Significant left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVEF less than 40 per cent).
  4. Moderate or severe valvular heart disease.
  5. Congenital heart disease with severe PAH or idiopathic PAH.
  6. Coronary artery disease with past CABG/PTCA/MI and hypertension/diabetes on treatment.
  7. Angina and hypertension/diabetes on treatment.
  8. CT/MRI documented stroke and hypertension/diabetes on treatment.
  9. Pulmonary artery hypertension and hypertension/diabetes (for more than 10 years or with complications) and hypertension on treatment.
  10. Diabetes (for more than 10 years or with complications) and hypertension on treatment.
  11. Kidney/liver/hematopoietic stem cell transplant: recipient/on wait-list.
  12. End-stage kidney disease on haemodialysis/CAPD.
  13. Current prolonged use of oral corticosteroids. immunosuppressant medications.
  14. Decompensated cirrhosis.
  15. Severe respiratory disease with hospitalisations in the last two years/FEV1 less than 50 per cent.
  16. Lymphoma/ Leukaemia/Myeloma.
  17. Diagnosis of any solid cancer on or after 1 July 2020 or currently on any cancer therapy.
  18. Sickle cell disease/bone marrow failure/aplastic anaemia/ thalassemia major.
  19. Primary immunodeficiency diseases/HIV infections.
  20. Persons with disabilities due to intellectual disabilities/ muscular dystrophy/acid attack with the involvement of the respiratory system/persons with disabilities having high support needs/multiple disabilities, including deaf-blindness.

Who All Above 45 Years With Comorbidities Should Not Get The Shot For COVID-19?

The majority of individuals aged 45 and above with any of the comorbidities listed above can get the COVID-19 vaccine jab. However, certain exceptions exist for those people who are presently displaying symptoms of COVID-19, as well as sick patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus infection and are being treated and yet to recover completely.

Also Read: Coronavirus: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

How Can People Register For The COVID-19 Vaccine?

People can register online by visiting the official Co-Win website on their mobile phones/laptops/desktop computers/smart devices and filling in their details. The link to the website is also stated below:
After entering their identification details, individuals can select a location to get the COVID-19 vaccination and confirm their slot. The registration process can be done online, either in advance or at the site of getting the vaccine.

What Documents Should People Carry To Get The COVID-19 Vaccine?

Apart from Government-issued identification such as Aadhar card, Pan card, people aged 45 plus with comorbidities must also bring a one-page doctor certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner, stating that they can take the COVID-19 vaccine shot. Besides uploading a copy of this medical document online on the CO-Win 2.0 app, a hard copy of this certificate must be presented at the hospital where the person is getting the COVID-19 vaccine i.e. government-designated Covid Vaccination Centers (CVC). Also, all individuals must follow social distancing norms and wear face masks, to prevent the risk of infection and halt the spread of disease amongst the general public population in the community.