NEW DELHI: Around one crore people below 50 years with co-morbidities that can pose higher risk of infection are likely to be inoculated during the first phase of the Covid-19 vaccination programme that is expected to begin by January end, officials said.
While the above-50 category in the first round of “priority groups” to be given the shots self-selects itself, the identification of people with comorbidities below the age is challenging. The data analysis by the Centre has estimated that around a crore people, with relatively more severe co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension or cardiac issues, may need the shots.
A panel has been constituted under the National Expert Group of Vaccine Administration (NEGVAC) for Covid-19 to list specific criteria for identifying people in this category and finalise other modalities like how to contact them. The final number may change once the panel has completed its task.
26cr in 50+ category list of Covid-19 inoculation
A government presentation showed 30 crore priority recipients, including 1 crore health care workers, 2 crore frontline workers and 26 crore in the above-50 category and younger persons with comorbidities. The 50 and above category, said sources, will actually add up to 26 crore on its own and there will be an estimated 1 crore persons with co-morbid conditions who need to be in the priority group. While severity of the disease will be a key criteria in the identification of such people, those qualifying in the under-50 category may also have to produce evidence like a doctor’s certification. “We’ll have to make sure the identification is done in a proper manner. It is a task to identify such people who are below 50 years age and are suffering from specific diseases that are severe and can impact their immunity and pose higher risk of infection,” an official told YOU. Individuals may also have the option of uploading data related to age and associated disease conditions on Co-WIN, the digital platform developed by the government.