India approved two of its top COVID-19 vaccine contenders Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for emergency use on Sunday. Meanwhile, the government has conducted two vaccine dry runs to identify the shortcomings of the process and rectify it. As per reports COVID-19 vaccine in the country is likely to be rolled out in January. Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India that is manufacturing Covishield had said that the company is ready to roll out its vaccine in the coming weeks.
However, some questions have emerged as India moves towards the vaccination drive. Here's all you need to know about India's vaccination drive:
WHO WILL GET COVID VACCINE FIRST?
The government has said that high-risk groups would be vaccinated on priority. This would include healthcare and frontline workers. People over 50 years of age and people with comorbidities will also be part of priority groups.
LIST OF COVID VACCINES IN INDIA
There are multiple candidates in India, all in different stages of the process. The leading two candidates Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Serum Institute's Covishield have been granted approval for emergency use. Another candidate Zydus Cadila's vaccine ZyCoV-D has been given approval for Phase 3 trials.
Russian vaccine Sputnik V is also a contender. Dr Reddy's Laboratories is conducting phases 2 and 3 clinical trials of the vaccine. Serum Institute will also conduct the trials for Novavax's vaccine candidate in India as well as manufacture it. Biological E Limited, and Gennova Biopharmaceuticals have a candidate each. Bharat Biotech is working on another vaccine with Thomas Jefferson University. Aurobindo Pharma Ltd has also announced its own COVID-19 vaccine development programme.
HOW TO GET COVID-19 VACCINE?
Vaccine will not be accessible to the masses now. Once it is open to the public, beneficiaries will have to register and submit ID proof for vaccination. Registration on the Co-Win app will be required for the vaccination. Once the registration is complete, the beneficiary would receive an SMS on their mobile number regarding the due date, venue and time of vaccination.
At the time of registration, documents such as Aadhaar, driving licence, voter ID, PAN card, passport, job card or pension document must be produced. One can also submit Health Insurance Smart Card, MGNREGA card, official IDs issued by MPs, MLAs or MLCs. Passbooks issued by bank or post office and service ID card issued by state or central government and public limited companies would also be accepted.
The identity of the beneficiary would be verified before the vaccination.
CAN A PERSON GET COVID-19 VACCINE WITHOUT REGISTRATION?
No, registration is mandatory for vaccination. The information on time, date and venue will be shared only after the registration is complete.
IS IT MANDATORY TO TAKE THE COVID-19 VACCINE?
The coronavirus vaccine is voluntary and not mandatory. However, the government has advised people to take the vaccine and complete the entire dosage. If one has comorbidity including diabetes, hypertension, cancer then he or she would be in the high-risk category and must take the vaccine.
HOW WILL ONE KNOW IF THEY ARE ELIGIBLE FOR VACCINATION?
The eligible beneficiaries would be informed through their mobile number.
HOW MANY DOSES OF THE VACCINE WOULD BE REQUIRED?
The government has said that two doses of the vaccine 28 days apart must be administered for a beneficiary.
WILL THE COVID-19 VACCINE BE GIVEN TO EVERYONE SIMULTANEOUSLY?
No, the vaccination process would take place in phases. The first phase would include high-risk groups as aforementioned.