NEW DELHI: Those below 50 years with serious co-morbidities will need to produce a medical certificate from a general physician verifying severity of pre-existing conditions to be included in the government's ‘priority’ list for vaccination against Covid-19, the protocol finalised by an expert panel says.
The protocol suggests a scoring system along with a framework criteria that doctors can refer to while certifying an individual. However, the certificate can be issued based on existing records of the patients and fresh testing may not be mandatory, an official source said.
The certificate can be uploaded on Co-WIN IT platform for individuals to register for the vaccination programme, the official added.
People suffering from one or more identified co-morbidities like diabetes, heart disorders, respiratory diseases, kidney diseases, any type of cancer, people with disabilities, neurological disorders like Parkinsons or those that can result in higher chances of severe pneumonia, will be eligible to receive the vaccine on priority. They will need to qualify on a scoring pattern suggested in the protocol. People who are on immuno suppressant drugs will also be eligible.
“Protocol has been finalised and submitted to the national expert group on vaccine administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC). We have tried to keep it simple and our idea is to be more inclusive than exclusive,” the official told TOI.
The criteria is focused on assessing severity of the disease and its impact on the risk of mortality from the infection or lowering of the immune system. For instance, a person with diabetes for more than 10 years will get priority for vaccination whereas those who can control the condition with diet will not be considered at present.
TOI reported in December that around one crore people below 50 years are estimated with severe co-morbidities, needing vaccination against Covid-19 on priority.
The government aims to inoculate around 30 crore people with anti-Covid jabs. Apart from healthcare and frontline workers, this will include people above 50 years of age and those younger but with pre-existing diseases.
The first phase of the massive vaccination drive is expected to start within 7-10 days and completed by July.