New Delhi, January 5: India now gears up to launch the world's largest COVID-19 vaccination drive after the latest decision by the DCGI to approve the two vaccines- Serum Institute of India's 'Covishield' vaccine and Bharat Biotech's 'Covaxin' for emergency use across the country. The approval of the vaccines, which will immunise people against the COVID-19 virus, paved the way for their roll-out and administration to millions. Moreover, the DGCI also granted permission to Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech to manufacture 'Covaxin' for sale and distribution. Ahead of the actual immunisation drive, the Health Ministry has answered some FAQs on COVID-19 vaccine. How to Register for COVID-19 Vaccine in India Using Co-WIN; Check Step By Step Process of Vaccination Laid Down by Indian Government.

Earlier in December, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the COVID-19 vaccination in India would begin anytime in January 2021. Reports inform that the Centre has initiated the process of procurement and the vaccination drive could begin by end of next week in a phased manner.

Take a Look at Few FAQs on COVID-19 Vaccine:

Is COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduled Anytime Soon

The government is all set to launch a vaccine for COVID 19 soon. On January 3, the DCGI approved Serum Institute of India's 'Covishield' vaccine and Bharat Biotech's 'Covaxin' for emergency use.

Will COVID-19 Vaccine be Given to Everyone Simultaneously

  • Depending on the availability of vaccines, the Government has selected the priority groups who will be vaccinated on priority as they are at higher risk. The first group includes healthcare and frontline workers. The second group to receive COVID 19 vaccine will be persons over 50 years of age and persons under 50 years with comorbid conditions.
  • In the first phase of the massive COVID-19 vaccination drive, the government plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people. The vaccine will be offered to 1 crore healthcare workers, along with two crore frontline and essential workers and 27 crore elderly, mostly above the age of 50 years with comorbidities.

 Is it Mandatory to Take The COVID-19 Vaccine?

Vaccination for COVID-19 is voluntary. However, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of COVID-19 vaccine for protecting one-self against this disease and also to limit the spread of this disease to the close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers.

Will The Vaccine be Safe as it is Being Tested and Introduced in a Short Span of Time? 

Vaccines will be introduced in the country only after the regulatory bodies clear it based on its safety and efficacy.

Can a Person Presently Having COVID-19 (Confirmed or Suspected) Infection be Vaccinated? 

Person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection may increase the risk of spreading the same to others at vaccination site. For this reason, infected individuals should defer vaccination for 14 days after symptoms resolution.

Is it Necessary for a COVID-19 Recovered Person to Take the Vaccine?

Yes, it is advisable to receive complete schedule of COVID vaccine irrespective of past history of infection with COVID-19. This will help in developing a strong immune response against the disease.

Of the Multiple Vaccines Available, How is One or More Vaccine Chosen for Administration?

The safety and efficacy data from clinical trials of vaccine candidates are examined by Drug regulator of our country before granting the license for the same. Hence, all the COVID-19 vaccines that receive license will have comparable safety and efficacy. However, it must be ensured that the entire schedule of vaccination is completed by only one type of vaccine as different COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable.

Does India Have the Capacity To Store COVID-19 Vaccine at Temperature of +2 to +8 Degree Celsius & Transport Them at Required Temperature?

India runs one of the largest Immunization programme in the world, catering to the vaccination needs of more than 26 million newborns and 29 million pregnant women. The programme mechanisms are being strengthened / geared up to effectively cater to the country’s large and diverse population.

Will the Vaccine Introduced in India Be As Effective as the Ones Introduced in Other Countries?

Yes. The COVID 19 vaccine introduced in India will be as effective as any vaccine developed by other countries. Various phases of vaccine trials are undertaken to ensure its safety and efficacy. COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs in India: Know Eligibility, Documents Required for Registration and More.

How Will I Know if I Am Eligible for Vaccination?

In the initial phase, COVID 19 vaccine will be provided to the priority group- Health Care and Front-line workers. The 50 plus age group may also begin early based on vaccine availability. The eligible beneficiaries will be informed through their registered mobile number regarding the Health Facility where the vaccination will be provided and the scheduled time for the same. This will be done to avoid any inconvenience in registration and vaccination of beneficiaries.

Earlier this month on January 2, almost all states and Union Territory (UT) governments, including the national capital, had conducted a dry run ahead of the actual vaccination drive. The Centre had directed earlier to conduct a dry run by all state and UTs on January 2 to test the linkages between planning and implementation, and to identify the challenges. The mock drill was conducted at 285 session sites spread across 125 districts to check the readiness of authorities to administer COVID-19 shots to people.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 05, 2021 11:54 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website