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At Tata AIA Life Insurance, we have consistently upheld the tradition of protection! In today’s uncertain times, with the world revolving around the COVID-19 and its emerging variants, we are conscious of our responsibility to support our consumers, distribution partners and community. It is our constant endeavour to ensure the well-being of all our stakeholders.

 


After months of trials, the Government of India introduced the COVID-19 vaccines. The major and popular vaccines in India are Covishield®, Covaxin®, and Sputnik – V1. In addition, the Union Government announced and expanded the “precaution doses” administration, most commonly called the “booster doses”, for increased protection. It is the third dose of the COVID vaccine.

 

 

After months of trials, the Government of India introduced the COVID-19 vaccines. The major and popular vaccines in India are Covishield®, Covaxin®, and Sputnik – V1. In addition, the Union Government announced and expanded the “precaution doses” administration, most commonly called the “booster doses”, for increased protection. It is the third dose of the COVID vaccine. 


The administration of the booster doses started in early January 2022 and has now been extended to all adults above 18 years of age.  The emergence of transmissible variants of the coronavirus, such as Omicron and its latest BF.7 variant, is found to bypass vaccine-induced2 immunity. Therefore, these booster doses will re-equip the immune system to fight against these deadly diseases and help prevent infection.

With rising global cases at the end of 2022, the Government of India is planning a fourth booster dose for everyone. Taking the “precaution dose” is important because the protection from a vaccine will start diminishing after a certain period. 

 

Why Should You Take the COVID 19 Vaccine and The Booster Dose?


Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is important3 for you because:

  • COVID 19-vaccines are effective and can keep you from getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 vaccines can prevent you from being hospitalised and getting seriously ill even if you contract COVID-19.
  • If you get vaccinated, it can also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • As the vaccines are being clinically tested for their application and approved by the Government, it is a safe, reliable, and effective method to stay protected.
  • With the emergence of different variants, such as Omicron, people are becoming increasingly vulnerable to various infections. Therefore, taking the necessary precautionary doses (booster doses) is important to boost the immune system and stay protected.
  • The immunity and strength gained from previous vaccinations might reduce long-term. The booster vaccine can help reinforce the immune system to prevent you from new mutations.  


Who Will Get the Vaccine?


The vaccination drive in India is happening in clearly designed phases4:

Phases

Started From

Target Group to be Vaccinated

First Phase

16th January 2021

Healthcare and frontline workers, including sanitation workers, police personnel and disaster management workers

Second Phase

1st March 2021

People above 60 years and those between 45 to 59 years with co-morbid conditions

Third Phase

1st April 2021

Everyone above 45 years

Fourth Phase

1st May 2021

Everyone above the age of 18 years

Fifth Phase

3rd Jan 2022

For beneficiaries in the age group 15 – 18

Sixth Phase

16th Mar 2022

For beneficiaries in the age group 12 – 14



What Are the Steps to Get Vaccinated?


Presently, vaccines are available from the Government and notified Private Healthcare Facilities, known as COVID Vaccination Centers (CVCs)5.

To schedule your vaccination appointment, you can:

  • 01.

    Register on the Co-WIN Portal with a Photo ID Card.

  • 02.

    You can register four people through one mobile number.

  • 03.

    Find available CVCs on the portal along with vaccination slots, date, and time.

  • 04.

    Book as per your preference and availability.

  • 05.

    Get an OTP verification before registration.

  • 06.

    Get a confirmation slip and SMS after registration. 

  • 01.

    Register on the Co-WIN Portal with a Photo ID Card.

  • 02.

    You can register four people through one mobile number.

  • 03.

    Find available CVCs on the portal along with vaccination slots, date, and time.

  • 04.

    Book as per your preference and availability.

  • 05.

    Get an OTP verification before registration.

  • 06.

    Get a confirmation slip and SMS after registration. 

You can also access the Co-WIN platform using the Arogya Setu App, register with the details and book the slots for the vaccination.

The registration can be carried out in the vaccination centres directly with the necessary documents, such as ID proofs for people seeking offline methods for vaccination.
 


How to Register for the Booster Dose?


If you are eligible for the booster dose, follow these simple steps to schedule the appointment for the vaccine6.

  1. Provide the registered mobile number in the CoWIN app.
  2. The CoWIN app will show your previous vaccination certificates and the available date and time slot for the booster dose.
  3. The booster or the precautionary dose should be administered after 9 months from the date of the second dose.
  4. If you are eligible for the booster dose, choose the Schedule option and select a convenient date. 


Registration For Children and Teenagers


The Government has introduced certain guidelines for vaccination in children and teenagers7.

  1. Beneficiaries who have attained 12 years of age will be able to get registered in the CoWIN app. 
  2. The vaccination slots for the CorBEvax for beneficiaries in the age group 12-14 years old are available on the CoWIN app. 
  3. Registration can be done either as self-registration through the existing account of a family member in the CoWIN app or as a new account with a unique mobile number. The children must provide their student ID card details to book the slot.  

Furthermore, the Drugs Controller General of India approved the administration of the Corbevax vaccine for children aged 5-12 years and the Covaxin vaccine for children aged 6-12 years during an emergency.


COVID-19 Booster Dose


After completing the primary vaccination series, the booster or the precautionary dose is administered to the vaccinated population. The booster dose is introduced to restore the vaccine's effectiveness, which diminishes over a period and gets insufficient to fight the emergence of new variants.

The Government introduced the administration of the COVID-19 booster for adults, the age group between 18 - 59 years, on 15th July 2022 8. It is best advised to take the booster doses, the third and the fourth doses, at the recommended intervals of 6 months, as the infections are bound to increase due to the emergence of new variants such as B5.7 and XRR9.  And it is highly recommended that high-risk individuals, such as people over 60 years of age, people with comorbidities and people who are immuno-compromised, must take the second booster dose10

Things To Note Before the Vaccination


There are a few aspects you need to know before getting vaccinated11.

  • Eat well 

    Taking the vaccine on an empty stomach is not advised. Therefore, you need to eat well before getting vaccinated. Avoid having processed and heavy food before getting the vaccine.

  • Stay hydrated 

    Drink a good amount of water and stay well hydrated. 

  • Sleep well 

    Ensure to sleep well and peacefully throughout the night before you get vaccinated. 

  • Consult your doctor 

    If you have been affected due to a disease or an illness and are worried about the impact of COVID-vaccine, consult your doctor and get your doubts clarified to feel comfortable.

  • Avoid unnecessary medication 

    Avoid medicines such as painkillers before the vaccination to prevent getting affected due to side effects. Instead, have the recommended medications advised by your doctor, if necessary. If you habitually take over-the-counter medicines, inform the doctor at the vaccination centre. 

  • Avoid alcohol 

    Avoid having excess alcohol before the vaccination, as it can dehydrate your body.

  • Be prepared 

    Take a leave from your regular work and be prepared for the vaccination to avoid unnecessary stress before getting the vaccine. Take your ID card, wear a mask and follow the instructions detailed in the vaccination centre. 

  • Wear Comfortable clothes 

    Ensure to be in your most comfortable and best clothing, keeping in mind the injection on your arm.

  • Ensure the vaccine is from a trusted source 

    Research the available vaccines, their applicability, and approvals before getting it and ensure that it is from a trusted source. 

  • Cancel if you have COVID-19 symptoms 

    If you find any COVID-19 symptoms, cancel your vaccination plan, and discuss it with your doctor immediately.

Things To Remember After the Vaccination

Like any other vaccine, even with COVID-19 vaccines, you might experience mild to moderate side effects. Here are a few things that you need to remember after getting vaccinated12.

  • Report immediate reactions 

    After getting the vaccination, stay seated and relax at the vaccination centre for about half an hour. Report to the health workers if you find any immediate reactions such as an allergy, dizziness, nausea, etc., 

  • Stay hydrated 

    Drink water at regular intervals of time and stay hydrated throughout the day. 

  • Avoid inflammation 

    Avoid moving your hands and taking heavy weights after the vaccination that can stress your arm. Instead, soothe your arm and avoid inflammation. You can place a cool and wet cloth and do mild exercises to reduce the pain. Avoid strenuous activities that can increase the side effects on your body for one or two days. 

  • Be prepared for minor side effects 

    Minor side effects such as swelling, chills, fatigue, mild fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, etc., can exist for a day or two. You can take the prescribed medications provided by your doctor in such cases. 

  • Schedule for the next dose 

    Make a note of your vaccination date and schedule for the next dose as prescribed timely. 

  • Take other necessary vaccines

    If you are required to take any other vaccine, schedule it after 14 days or 28 days based on the type of vaccine and its specifications. 

  • Consult your doctor 

    If you are taking any medications such as blood thinners, steroids, etc., or having immunosuppressants, discuss with your doctor about having those medicines after taking the COVID vaccine.

  • Follow the protocols 

    Getting vaccinated does not mean you are completely protected from the coronavirus or other similar infections. You might contract COVID-19 even after your vaccination and suffer from milder symptoms. Therefore, maintain a safer distance from affected people, clean your premises, wear a mask, and follow all the safety protocols.  

  • The New Normal: Things to Keep in Mind at All Times

    Although we have seen the introduction of various vaccines and booster doses, it is imperative to know that the spread of the virus and the emergence of the variants and their impact are crucial. Therefore, it is important to follow certain precautionary measures to stay protected and avoid infections.

    Here is how you can get used to the 'New Normal' emphasising 'Precaution is better than cure'.
     

    Follow safety guidelines

    The Government has laid certain safety guidelines to ensure that the population at large is not affected due to a great extent. Some of the most important guidelines include:

    • Maintaining social distance in public places.

    • Wearing a mask when you step out to a public place.

    • Keeping your hands clean by washing or sanitising them regularly.

    • Taking a shower after you reach home.

    Stay safe at your workplace

    Getting back to work after the long work-from-home phase might get exciting. However, it would help if you stayed safe by following certain preventive measures, such as:

    • Sanitising your hands after places or objects that are most commonly used, such as elevators, doorknobs, etc., 

    • Avoid physical contact with your co-workers.

    • Keep disinfecting your bags, shoes, etc., kept in common places.

    Staying healthy

    Resorting to a healthy lifestyle is certainly the new normal. Having a balanced diet, exercising regularly, being hydrated, etc., can help you boost your immune system and fight against the effect of these viruses. 

    Plan a safe holiday

    When you are planning for a vacation, try avoiding places that are crowded. Instead, plan a holiday to safe remote locations with camping essentials experiencing the varied landscapes and adventures. 

    Regular health check-up

    Get your regular health check-up done at the intervals suggested by your doctor. It will help you identify if you are affected by any comorbidities, such as diabetes, heart disease, etc.

    People affected by comorbidities, are obese, more than 60 years of age or have any other serious health condition are at high risk. Therefore, identifying any such scenarios and taking the necessary treatment is important. 



COVID-19 Support for our Customers


At Tata AIA Life Insurance, we have taken the following steps to provide COVID-19 support to the community.

AWARENESS DRIVE

  • Multi-Channel Communication – Important updates and information regularly sent via text messages and email to our customers.
  • Awareness Webinar – We had launched an interactive webinar, with Dr. Ramakanta Panda, to educate our customers about the COVID-19 virus and vaccination. Watch the webinar.  

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COVID 19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the top safety precautions to protect against Covid?

Some of the top safety precautions to protect yourself against COVID-19 are:

  1. Keep a physical distance of at least 1 metre from people anywhere. 
  2. Try to avoid crowded places and closer contact with any person.
  3. Follow the guidelines and get vaccinated.
  4. Wear a mask, wash it regularly if it is a fabric, and dispose of it otherwise. 
  5. Keep your hands clean. Sanitise them or wash them regularly.
  6. Cover your nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing. Dispose of the tissues or wash the clothes regularly.
  7. Disinfect your belongings kept in a common place and clean your surroundings frequently. 
  8. Stay home if you are feeling sick.
  9. Improve the ventilation at your house and workplace. 

What are the steps to follow if you test positive for Covid?

  • Contact your healthcare provider to determine if you are suffering from mild or serious symptoms, and take the necessary advice on the medications.
  • Isolate yourself at home and prevent others at home from falling sick.
  • Wear a mask at home or in a public place such as the hospital.
  • Do not share the things you use, such as your plate, towel, cup, etc., with others. 
  • Keep monitoring your symptoms and take the necessary medications if there is an emergency warning sign. Some of the common emergency warning signs are:

    1. Difficulty in breathing
    2. Pressure and pain in the chest
    3. Blue-coloured or pale skin or lips.
    4. Difficulty staying awake
  • Ensure to clean your surroundings and wash your hands or sanitise them regularly.

How to test for Covid-19 with Over-The-Counter Covid Test Kits in India?

Rapid antigen self-test kits are available over the counter in India. Such kits contains a test card, a pre-filled extraction tube, a sterile nasal swab, a disposable bag, and a manual. Here is how you can use the kit to test for COVID-19.

  1. Download the test kit app and register.
  2. Take a sample with the swab provided. Read through the instructions and precautions mentioned in the user manual. 
  3. Take the sample and put it inside the pre-filled extraction tube. 
  4. Break open the extended end of the swab and close the nozzle.
  5. Place two drops on the test card and wait for the results on the app. It will take a maximum of 15 minutes. 
  6. Discard the items used in the disposable bag.

How to download the Covid-19 vaccine certificate in India?

You can download the certificate for the COVID-19 vaccination online using your Aadhaar Number. The online platforms available for download are:

  1. CoWIN portal
  2. Aarogya Setu app
  3. UMANG app
  4. Digilocker app
     

The most common option among these is the CoWIN portal. Here are the steps to download the vaccination certificate from the CoWIN portal:

  1. Open the CoWIN portal online.
  2. Sign In with an OTP or Register using the details provided at the vaccination centre. 
  3. You can view the 'Vaccination Certificate' option if you have received your vaccination.
  4. Click on the option to get it downloaded to your system.

Are children below 15 years of age eligible for the vaccine in India?

Children starting from the age of 12 years are eligible for the vaccine in India. In addition, India has granted the restricted use of Covaxin to children in the age group 6 - 12 years and Corbevax for children in the age group 5 - 12 years during an emergency.

Which vaccine is available for children in India?

The following are the vaccines available for children in India:

  1. For the age group 15 - 18 years - Covaxin
  2. For the age group 12 - 14 years – Corbevax
     

In addition, India has granted the restricted use of Covaxin to children in the age group 6 - 12 years and Corbevax for children in the age group 5 - 12 years during an emergency. 

What are the Covid Variants of Concern as of January 2023?

The COVID Variants Of Concern as of January 2023 are Omicron B.1.1529, BA. 1.1, BA. 2, BA. 3, BA. 4, and BA. 5. A recent upsurge in the transmission of the virus due to the BF.7 variant. It is a sub-lineage of the BA.5 Omicron variant. Furthermore, the emergence of the Omicron XBB and XBB1.5 is increasing worldwide. The XBB is a sub-variant of the BA.2 Omicron variant.

Who is eligible for the booster doses in India?

In the initial stages, the booster doses were administered to Healthcare workers, Frontline workers, and senior citizens. However, it has now been extended to all the beneficiaries in the age group 18 and 59 years of age children between the ages of 15 to 18 are also eligible to receive the COVID-19 booster dose.

Are there any side-effects of the Covid-19 booster doses?

After getting the booster doses, people might get temporary symptoms such as a swollen, sore arm where they got the vaccine injected. There can be fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, mild headache, and fatigue for two days. People can also expect nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

Where can I register for the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • Log into the Co-WIN portal - www.cowin.gov.in
  • Choose the “Register/Sign in Yourself” tab to register for COVID-19 vaccination. 

Alternatively, you can go to the Co-WIN tab on the Arogya Setu app to register.

Where are the COVID-19 vaccines available?

COVID-19 vaccines are available at Government and Private Health Facilities authorised by the government, known as COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs)

Which documents are required for COVID-19 vaccination registration?

You can register on the Co-WIN portal using any of the following ID proofs:

  • Aadhar card
  • Driving license
  • Passport
  • PAN card
  • Pension document
  • Bank passbook
  • Voter ID card
  • MGNREGA job card
  • Health insurance smart card
  • Official identity card issued by MPs, MLAs
  • Smart card by Registrar General of India
  • Service identity card 

Disclaimer

Source

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