COVID FAQ: Who Gets Vaccinated 1st? When Will the Process Begin?

The vaccination drive for COVID-19 in India will begin from 16 January, 2021.

3 min read
COVID FAQ: Who  Gets Vaccinated 1st? When Will the Process Begin?

The vaccination drive for COVID-19 in India will begin from 16 January, 2021, the Centre said on Saturday, 9 January.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on 3 January had granted permission to Bharat Biotech’s indigenous COVID vaccine ‘Covaxin’ and Oxford-AstraZeneca’s ‘Covishield’ vaccine for restricted use in emergency situations.

While the Centre’s SOPs are not final, they give an idea of what will happen as and when the vaccine starts to roll out.

Here's what we know from the document shared by the Center with the states.


How many Indians will be vaccinated in the first phase?

Around 30 crore people are expected to be vaccinated in the first phase.

Who will be vaccinated first?

  • Healthcare workers (1 crore)
  • Frontline workers (2 crore)
  • People above the age of 50 (26 crore)

What about people who are below 50 years of age?

Only those who are below 50 and are suffering from chronic illnesses will be vaccinated in the first phase, as per the health ministry's guidelines. This comes to almost one crore people, the guidelines add.

How will they identify people who are above 50 years of age?

The voter ID list prepared ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election will be used to identify people who are above 50 years of age.


When will people between 20-30 years of age be vaccinated?

This depends on the disease epidemiology and vaccine availability, said the draft SOP. Therefore, no concrete information on this is available.

What is likely to be the vaccination process?

As per SOP, states have been advised to conduct vaccination process like "conducting an election." A vaccination site is mandated to have three rooms or areas:

  • Waiting Room
  • Vaccination Room
  • Observation Room

Who will administer the vaccine?

  • The document explains that a vaccination team will have five members – the main officer helped by four others. The main officer could be a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or anyone legally qualified to give an injection.
  • The second officer will be in charge of security and will guard the entry point at the vaccination session, while the third will be present to verify documents.
  • The fourth and fifth officers will be responsible for crowd management and communication.

How many people are to be vaccinated per session?

Only 100 people per "session" at each site, per day, are likely to be vaccinated. However, this number can jump to 200 people "if logistics allow."

"One session for 100 beneficiaries. While most of the healthcare and frontline workers would be vaccinated at fixed session sites, vaccination of other high-risk populations may require outreach session sites, and mobile sites and teams," it said in the document.


How is the government planning to monitor people who have been administered the vaccine?

The government is planning to do this with the help of digital platform system 'COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN)'. It will be used to track vaccine users on a real-time basis.

How can I download this mobile app?

While the app is still under development, it will be available for free download across all platforms.

What information is needed to register on this app?

The registration on Co-WIN can be done with a voter ID, Aadhaar card, driving license, passport, or pension document.

When will the app roll out?

There is no formal announcment about this.

Are these the final set of SOPs?

No, these are draft guidelines which may change, depending upon the availability of the vaccine.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Quint Insider

or more


3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Insider Benefits
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!