With only a day left before India begins its largest vaccination drive, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan took to Twitter to dispel some myths about the vaccines.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch India's massive COVID-19 vaccination drive at 10:30 AM via video conferencing on January 16. A total of 3,006 session sites across all states and UTs will be virtually connected during the launch.
Ahead of this historic day in India's medical history, the health minister bust some myths regarding the vaccines. Dr Vardhan urged people not to pay heed to rumours and trust only official channels of communication to get correct information about COVID-19.
Addressing the fears that the COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility in men or women, the health minister said, "There is no scientific evidence to suggest that COVID vaccine could cause infertility in either men or women. Infertility is not known to occur as a result of COVID-19 disease either."
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that #COVIDVaccine could cause infertility in either men or women. Kindly do not pay heed to such rumours or information from unverified sources.#StayInformedStaySafe@PMOIndia@MoHFW_INDIApic.twitter.com/6ii2EFgpB0— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 14, 2021
On the myth that one could catch COVID-19 from vaccine itself, the minister said, "You cannot catch COVID-19 from vaccine but it is possible to have caught COVID-19 and not realise you have symptoms until after your vaccination appointment".
You cannot contract #COVID19 because you have been inoculated with a #COVID19Vaccine— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 14, 2021
Temporary side effects such as mild fever should not be confused as having contracted #COVID.#StayInformedStaySafe@PMOIndia@MoHFW_INDIApic.twitter.com/ZkZgLU8tpy
Dr Vardhan added that a person might get mild fever as a side effect of the vaccine but that should go away in a day or two.
Talking about the side-effects of the vaccine against coronavirus, the minister informed some individuals may have side effects like mild fever, pain at the injection site, or body ache. However, such side effects will be 'temporary' and, 'should go away on their own after some time'.
After being administered #COVID19Vaccine, some individuals may have side effects like mild fever, pain at injection site & bodyache. This is similar to the side effects that occur post some other vaccines.— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 14, 2021
These are expected to go away on their own after some time. #StaySafepic.twitter.com/VCnJzXu70S
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) earlier this month approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech, for restricted emergency use in the country.
The full initial procurement of 1.65 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines has been allocated to all states and UTs in proportion to their healthcare workers database.
The vaccination programme will use Co-WIN, an online digital platform developed by the Union health ministry, which will facilitate real-time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries for the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the government, the shots will be offered first to an estimated one crore healthcare workers, around two crore frontline workers, and then to persons above 50 years of age, followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities.
The cost of vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers will be borne by the Centre.