As the COVID 19 pandemic continued to wreak havoc globally with another wave expected, the race to administer the vaccine also continued. In India, two COVID 19 vaccines, namely from Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India for restricted emergency use.
The manufacturers are ready to supply for the first phase of vaccination, which shall include frontline workers followed by people who are above 50 years old.
The Central Government has introduced an application named Covid Vaccine Intelligence Work (CoWIN). The challenge of strengthening the CoWin system, (a digitized platform) to roll out the vaccine would be a challenge, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had stated on Dec 23.
The CoWin app is not functional as yet as it is currently in the pre-product stage. It has the data of health officials who will be first in line to get the vaccination. Over 75 lakh health officials have registered for it already.
How to register: Currently, common people cannot register for the vaccine as currently only officials have access to it. Once the app is functional, it will have four modules: user administrator module, beneficiary registration, vaccination and beneficiary acknowledgment and status updation.
Once live, the CoWIN app or website will give three options for registration including self registration, individual registration and bulk uploadOnce live, the CoWIN app or website will give three options for registration including self registration, individual registration and bulk upload. The logistics of it have not yet been revealed. Probably the government shall organise camps where people can go and officials will get them registered for the vaccine. In addition, surveyors and district administrators will also be able to register multiple beneficiaries.
People will need to upload a photo identity, like Aadhar card, driving license and PAN card to register. Union Health Minister, Dr. Harshvardhan has announced that the vaccination will be free for frontline workers. The cost to the general public has not been announced yet.
Incidentally, Britain on December 3 was the first to approve emergency use of vaccines developed by US manufacturer Pfizer and German Biotechnology Company BioNTech. The first Pfizer BioNTech vaccine recipient was 90 year old Margaret Keenan.
Apart from Pfizer, Moderna became a close second in many countries after it released a full data analysis in terms of a late stage trial on November 30 showing a 94.1% efficacy rate for its vaccine. It was followed by Switzerland, United States, Malaysia, Bahrain, Canada and Mexico.
While Pfizer's shot was the first to be rolled out following publication of full Phase-III trial data, Russia and China have been inoculating their citizens with several different vaccines that are still undergoing late stage trials.
On November 24, Russia said that its Sputnik V vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Institute, was 91.4% effective based on interim late stage trial results. It started vaccinations in August and has inoculated more than 100,000 people so far. China on December 18 announced its plan to vaccinate 50 million people in the high priority group (against the COVID 19) before the start of the peak Lunar New Year travel season early next year.