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The covid vaccine will be offered first to healthcare workers, frontline workers and to persons above 50 years of age, according to operational guidelines for vaccination issued by the Union health ministry on Monday.

It will then be offered to persons younger than 50 years of age with associated co-morbidities based on the evolving pandemic situation, and finally to the remaining population based on the disease epidemiology and vaccine availability, the guidelines state.

Also read Why Dalit students are facing a fund crunch in India’s educational institutions

The priority group of above 50 years may be sub-divided into those above 60 years and those between 50 to 60 years for purposes of phasing of rollout based on the pandemic situation and vaccine availability, said the guidelines that have been shared with states.

“The latest electoral roll for Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly elections will be used to identify people aged 50 years or more. The COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) system, a digitalized platform, will be used to track the enlisted beneficiaries for vaccination on a real-time basis. At the vaccination site, only pre-registered beneficiaries will be vaccinated in accordance with the prioritization and there will be no provision for on-the-spot registration," the guidelines said.

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The government is planning to vaccinate people in sessions with each session having 100 beneficiaries. Most of the healthcare and frontline workers would be vaccinated at fixed session sites, while vaccination of other high-risk populations may require outreach session sites, and mobile sites/teams. States and UTs can identify specific days for vaccination, the Centre said.

Vaccine safety must be ensured during storage, transportation and delivery of vaccine with sufficient deployment of police personnel so that there are no leakages in the delivery system, it said.

The states have been asked to allocate the vaccine from one manufacturer to a district to avoid mixing of different vaccines in the field.

The government also said that the inoculators should monitor vaccinated persons and immediately report to the vaccinator officer if there is any adverse reaction.

Meanwhile, covid cases continue to rise in India. The total crossed 9,897,200 with the toll touching 144,512. India’s active cases stand at 352,586, which is 3.57% of the total positive cases. As many as 27,071 new cases were added to the tally in the past 24 hours, while 30,695 cases have recovered in the same time.

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