Millennium Post

Health dept to start enrolling 60+ citizens for vaccination from March 1

Kolkata: State Health department is all set to start the enrollment of the elderly citizens for Covid vaccination from March 1. The Union Health ministry has issued certain guidelines to the state government in this regard.

The guidelines say that the vaccination process will begin for people above 60 or for those belonging to the age bracket of 45-60 having co-morbidities. With this, the immunisation drive among the masses will start in Bengal along with other states.

According to the Health department sources, those interested to receive the vaccine shots can opt for three options. In the first place, they can enroll themselves for vaccination by visiting the CoWIN app. They need to fill up some basic details like name, age and the location. On the other hand, they can visit the nearest vaccination centre with Aadhar number or other valid ID cards to register themselves. People can also visit the block level health camps set up by the Health department to get vaccinated.

The elderly people will be asked where they want to get the shot. Based on their preference, they will be given a date. On the day of the vaccination, a recipient will have to mention the Aadhar number to the staff members at the vaccination sites. If someone fails to recall their Aadhar number, they can produce any ID card at the camps.

Senior health officials believe that the technical glitches on the CoWIN app will not matter much this time as the recipients will enter their own data. "There is no role for the back end office to fill up the information. The CoWIN app has mostly faced data related issues so far," they said.

People, above 45, with heart-related issues or suffering from ailments like cancer, diabetes and other issues, are eligible to get the jab. As per the guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry, one can receive vaccines from the government hospitals free of costs, but in case of private hospitals, the recipients will have to pay the price of the vaccine in addition to Rs 100 as processing fees.

It is not however clear whether the people in Bengal will have to pay the price of vaccines at private hospitals or not. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier said people would not be charged for vaccination.

Banerjee had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that the State government was interested to procure vaccines from the Centre-designated agencies so that it could inoculate people free of costs. The Mamata Banerjee government is not ready to impose the burden of buying vaccines on common people.

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