Updated 5 May 2021
The quaint hill town of Shimla, set between the Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh amidst the lofty snow-clad mountains and lush greenery, has unfortunately been weighed down by deadly coronavirus pandemic. With cases still in, the citizens of Shimla are eagerly looking forward to the deployment of vaccines to put an end to this global crisis, once and for all.
With the mass immunization drive having started on January 16, what are the latest updates about the vaccination drive in Shimla right now? How is it being carried out?
Updates on the COVID vaccine in Shimla
To vaccinate citizens against COVID-19 at government centres, the state has placed an order of 73 lakh doses of vaccines to be procured from the Serum Institute of India in a phased manner over three-four months. However, it has been communicated from the manufacturer that the supplies shall commence after 3-4 weeks, subsequent to which the third phase of vaccination will be started in the state in government Covid vaccination centres (CVCs). The state’s cabinet has announced free vaccination for all at government centres.
A statement issued by the government has announced that registration for 18-44 age group had been started on the Co-WIN portal and on the Aarogya Setu app from April 28. All individuals who are eligible can register themselves for vaccination on the portal. The numbers of estimated persons in Himachal Pradesh who are eligible for vaccination under this category are around 31 lakh.
What vaccines are available now?
Covaxin is an indigenous COVID-19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology (N.I.V.). Covaxin is a Whole Virion Inactivated Vaccine. The vaccine has been shown to generate immunity following two doses given four weeks apart through ongoing trials. Covaxin is presented in multi-dose vials and can be stored at 2-8ºC.
The updated second interim phase 3 trial data shows that Covaxin has an efficacy rate of 78%, a tad lower than the earlier reported efficacy of 80.6% based on the first interim trials conducted in March. The efficacy against severe COVID-19 disease was 100%, the company claimed, but that against protecting from asymptomatic COVID-19 infection was 70%. The vaccine can induce antibodies that can neutralize even the UK strain and other heterologous strains.
Manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, Covishield is the COVID vaccine jointly developed by The Oxford University and AstraZeneca biopharmaceutical based in the U.K. The Covishield vaccination course consists of two separate doses of 0.5 ml each. Recipients should take the second dose 4 to 6 weeks after the first dose.
The vaccine has been approved for restricted use for individuals 18 years of age and above. Covishield has undergone three phases of clinical tests for safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy. The confirmed efficacy rate is around 90%.
Sputnik V got approved by DCGI on 13 April and will soon become available for distribution.
Russia’s Sputnik V has also conducted a combined phase two-three trial in India. This has been under the initiative of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) which went into a distribution partnership with the firm in September. Now approved, it will be manufactured domestically in the country by five different companies. The confirmed efficacy is 91%.
When can Shimla residents be vaccinated?
Like the rest of the country, vaccination in Shimla will be carried out in three phases:
- Phase 1 focused on health care and front-line workers.
- Phase 2 was for senior citizens and those above 45 suffering from comorbidities.
- Phase 3 includes everyone above 45 years of age, irrespective of health status.
- Phase 4 includes everyone above the age of 18.
In accordance with the nationwide vaccination program, Phase 4 of the mass inoculation drive has begun on May 1. However Shimla residents in the 18-45 age group may have to wait longer for their turn until new supplies arrive.
Where to get vaccinated in Shimla?
Given below are prominent government vaccination centers:
Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC)
Ridge Sanjauli Rd, Lakkar Bazar, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh 171001
Deen Dyal Upadhyay (D.D.U.) Hospital
Cart Rd, Near Local Bus Stand, Lower Bazar, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh 171001
Government Senior Secondary School
Kasumpti Tehsil & District. Shimla Himachal Pradesh 171009
NH-22, Bypass Rd Panthaghati, Kasumpti, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh 171009
Check the full list of private COVID-19 vaccination centres in Shimla here.
How to register for vaccination in Shimla?
Appointments for vaccination can be booked through the CoWIN website or the Aarogya Setu app.
Keep in mind that every user of either platform can register at the most 4 beneficiaries.
- Open the CoWIN online portal.
- Click on the ‘Register/Sign In Yourself’ yellow button. Those who are using it for the first time will need to register themselves with their photo ID proof (Aadhar Card/ Driving License/ PAN Card/ Passport/ Pension Passbook), photo ID number, name, and birth year. Those who have registered can sign in with an OTP.
- Click on ‘Schedule Appointment’.
- Once you enter the pin code of your area, you’ll be shown a list of vaccination centres in that area of Mumbai.
- Select the timing slot comfortable for you and ‘confirm’ your appointment.
- Download the app on Google Play or iOS App Store.
- On the app’s homepage, click on the ‘CoWIN’ tab on the top right.
- Select the ‘Register Now’ option and verify your mobile number with an OTP.
- Fill in details such as name, age, gender, year of birth, etc, and upload a photo ID proof.
- Search for your convenient vaccination centre in Mumbai by entering the pin code of your locale, and choose the date and time of your appointment.
Upon successful registration, you will receive an SMS with the appointment details.
How much will the vaccination cost?
The vaccines are available free of cost in all government centres while private facilities charge INR 250 for a single dose of any vaccine.