The next leg of COVID-19 vaccination from March 1 will include the general population aged above 60 years and those in the 45-60 age group with co-morbidities.
However, there wasn’t much clarity about the conditions or illnesses that are categorised as co-morbidities from the perspective of the infection.
According to details shared by senior officials of the Telangana Health department, 20 conditions or diseases are listed under co-morbidities. Some of them include heart failure with hospital admission in past one year, moderate or severe valvular heart disease, hypertension or diabetes on treatment, kidney or liver or hematopoietic stem cell transplant, end-stage kidney disease on haemodialysis, decompensated cirrhosis, and severe respiratory disease with hospitalisations in past two years.
Further, acid attack with involvement of respiratory system, disabilities requiring high-support needs and multiple disabilities, have also been included.
But how would one establish during registration for vaccination that they have one or more of the co-morbidities? Officials said a proforma of certificate to identify individuals with co-morbidities will be issued.
The certificate should be issued by a registered allopathy doctor. It lists the 20 co-morbidities and a vaccine recipient has to mark ‘yes’ against the conditions that they suffer from.
Apart from name of the doctor, medical council registration number of the doctor also has to be mentioned on the certificate.
Officials said doctors in Primary Health Centres (PHC) and other health facilities would be asked to issue the certificates.
Considering vaccine hesitancy among people, this step would ensure that people don’t back out from the vaccination drive because they find securing the certificate a cumbersome procedure.