New Delhi, December 21: As the potential COVID-19 vaccines emerge, a global waiting game begins. In India, the COVID-19 vaccination is likely to begin anytime in January 2021, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Monday. He said that the government's first priority has been safety and efficacy of the vaccine. "I personally feel that maybe in January in any stage or any week, there can be a time when are in a position to give the first Covid vaccine shot to people of India," Dr Vardhan was quoted by ANI.
Vardhan said that the ideal time would be when the country would reach a point where everyone can be vaccinated. But if there are limited vaccines, it is important to prioritise how who will be the first to get it. He said that the first 1 crore people to be vaccinated will be the health workers in the private and public sector, while the next two crores to be vaccinated will be frontline workers, sanitation staff, police, and other frontline workers, followed by people over the age of 50. COVID-19 Vaccination in India: First Coronavirus Vaccine Shot to People Expected in Any Week of January 2021, Says Harsh Vardhan.
As the country prepares itself for the largest vaccination drive, here are few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on COVID-19 Vaccine that the Health Ministry has posted on its official website:
- Is a COVID vaccine scheduled anytime soon?
Yes, vaccine trials are under different stages of finalisation. The government is geared to launch a vaccine for COVID 19 soon. Union Health Minister on Monday said that the COVID-19 vaccination in India would begin anytime in January 2021.
- Will COVID 19 vaccine be given to everyone simultaneously?
Based on the availability of vaccines in India, 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.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday informed that the first 1 crore people to be vaccinated will be the health workers in the private and public sector, while the next two crores to be vaccinated will be frontline workers, sanitation staff, police, and other frontline workers, followed by people over the age of 50.
- Is it mandatory for everyone 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.
- Is the COVID-19 vaccine 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 COVID-19 patient (confirmed or suspected) be vaccinated?
A person who has been infected by COVID-19 or presently has the infection (confirmed or suspected) 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.
- Can a COVID-19 recovered patient take the vaccine? Is it necessary?
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.
- Out of the many COVID-19 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
At present, there are nine COVID-19 vaccine candidates in different phases of clinical trials in India-six are under clinical trials and three in the pre-clinical phase.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 21, 2020 01:43 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).