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COVID-19 Vaccine: Everything you need to know about getting vaccinated after May 1st

 Anyone above 18 can get the COVID-19 vaccine starting May 1st. Know everything you need about the next phase of the vaccination drive.


The Centre on April 19, announced that everyone below the age of 18 will be able to get vaccines starting May 1st. There may be some questions that you may have in regards to the new phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive. Here are the most frequently asked questions.

Who is eligible?

All citizens aged 18 years and above can get the COVID-19 vaccine. Previously only people above the age of 45 could get the vaccines but from May 1st onwards, anyone who wishes can get the vaccine. There is NO limitation in regards to comorbidities either.

Do I need to register?

Citizens aged 45 years and above can schedule appointments online or walk into vaccination centers. But those below 45 will have to mandatorily register themselves at www.cowin.gov.in and schedule appointments online before vaccination. That said, the government encourages everyone, even people above 45, to register and schedule appointments as that will lead to a hassle-free vaccination experience. The registrations for people below the age of 45 will start on 28th April. Up to 4 people can be registered through the same phone number and you will need one of the following identity proofs to register, an Aadhaar card, a Driving License, a PAN card, a Passport, Pension Passbook, NPR Smart Card, Voter ID Card (EPIC).

Is vaccine-free?

For people aged 45 years or more, vaccination at government hospitals is free and it will cost 250 INR per dose at private hospitals. Vaccines for citizens aged 18-44 years is priced as per State Government policy or as per the cost displayed by private hospitals that can be seen on the appointment scheduling screen.

A number of states have announced that free COVID-19 vaccines will be provided to anyone above 18 in their respective states. In these states, people above 18 can go to government hospitals and get vaccinated for free. Below is the list of all such states.

Karnataka, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Assam and Goa.

More states are likely to join the list. To check you can simply go to www.cowin.gov.in and register yourself where you will be able to check the prices for your age at different vaccination centres around you.

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Availability and supply of the Vaccines

COVID-19 Vaccine
Image Source- Unsplash

The availability of the COVID-19 vaccines around you is highly subject to your location. The Centre has promised that vaccines will be available and no shortages will be present. Some states are not confident that they can start vaccinating people above the age of 18, citing the shortage of vaccine stocks. In any case, it is recommended that you register and schedule your appointment at the cowin website and reach the vaccination centre as per your appointment.

Currently in India, 2 COVID-19 vaccines are being given. Covishield (AstraZeneca’s vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin (manufactured by Bharat Biotech Limited) are the 2 vaccines. When scheduling your vaccination appointment, the system will show the vaccine being administered in each vaccination centre. Citizens can choose the vaccination centre as per their choice of vaccine being administered.

Precautions and side effects that you should keep in mind.

People taking the second dose of their vaccines should ensure that they are being given the second dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer. It is important to understand that you should not take different vaccines. It should also be kept in mind that the second dose should be taken only after 28 days ago and not before. It is recommended to take the second dose as soon as 28 days elapse.

After getting your vaccination you may face some mild symptoms including fever, headache, body ache. But if you develop any major issues, contact medical experts.

The adequate immune response takes 2-3 weeks after completion of the entire vaccination schedule i.e., after the second dose of COVISHIELD and COVAXIN. It is recommended that you should use masks and continue with all the COVID-19 appropriate behaviour like washing hands with soap or hand sanitiser. This will ensure that the country can fight the virus more efficiently.

Hope we covered all your questions and issues. The above information has been taken from the Co-Win website, www.cowin.gov.in. For further clarity on any subject, you can click the link and go to the FAQ section.

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