Countdown to India's COVID-19 vaccination drive has started as only three days are left for the historic day in India's medical history.
Across the country, preparations are at full throttle to achieve a safe and smooth immunisation programme. The government has placed orders for over six crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech for inoculating three crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase of the vaccination drive.
Now, as the inoculation drive approaches, here are the answers to all key queries:
1. Is the vaccination mandatory against COVID-19?
Ans: No, it is not mandatory. In fact, it is voluntary, which means, if you want to get vaccinated you can. However, the government has advised everyone to get vaccinated.
2. Is the coronavirus vaccine safe since it is developed in such a short span?
A: The two vaccines - Covishield and Covaxin - have received regulatory approval after extensive studies. The Covishield vaccine has already been rolled out in the UK.
3. Can a coronavirus infected person be vaccinated?
A: A person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection may increase the risk of spreading the same to others at the vaccination site. For this reason, infected individuals should defer vaccination for 14 days after symptom resolution.
4. At what intervals are the Covid-19 vaccine doses administered?
A. There will be two doses of the vaccine which will be given at a 28-day interval. Some experts have suggested that a gap of 2-3 months between each dose could increase the efficacy.
5. In how much time do antibodies against coronavirus develop after vaccination?
A: Antibodies against coronavirus are likely to develop two weeks after the second dose of the vaccine is taken.
6. What are the side-effects of the coronavirus vaccine?
A: The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective but may have minor side effects like fever, pain, etc. These side-effects can happen with any vaccine.
7. How to know if a person is eligible for coronavirus vaccine?
A: Initially, the vaccine will be administered to three crore health workers and frontline workers. The next group to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be persons over 50 years of age and persons under 50 years with comorbid conditions because there is high mortality in this category. The reason for including more than 50 years of the age group for vaccination is that it will be able to cover 78 per cent of persons having co-morbidities and thereby reduce mortality on account of COVID-19. And later, the vaccines will be accessible to the masses. People will have to register on the Co-WIN app to get vaccinated.
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 the registration and vaccination of beneficiaries.
8. Do I have to show any documents to get vaccinated?
A: Yes. Any of the below-mentioned ID with photo may be produced at the time of registration:
- Aadhar Card
- Driving License
- Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Job Card
- Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs
- PAN Card
- Passbooks issued by Bank/Post Office
- Pension Document
- Service Identity Card with photograph issued to employees by Central/ State Govt./ PSUs/Public Limited Companies
- Voter ID
- Smart card issued by RGI under NPR
9. Will vaccinated beneficiaries receive information on the status of their vaccination after completion?
A: Yes. On getting the due dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the beneficiary will receive SMS on their registered mobile number. After all doses of vaccine are administered, a QR code-based certificate will also be sent to the registered mobile number of the beneficiary.
10. Will a Photo / ID be required at the time of vaccination?
A: The Photo ID produced at the time of registration must be produced and verified at the time of vaccination.
11. What is the cost of the coronavirus vaccine in India?
A: Serum Institute's Covishield will be available at the price of Rs 201 per dose including GST. Whereas, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin will be reportedly sold at Rs 295 per dose.
12. Does India have the capacity to store COVID vaccine?
A: Yes. India runs one of the largest immunisation 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 to effectively cater to the country's large and diverse population.
13. How will the beneficiary receive information about the due date of vaccination?
A: Following online registration, beneficiaries will receive SMS on their registered mobile number on the due date, place, and time of vaccination.
14. If one is taking medicines for illnesses like Cancer, Diabetes, Hypertension etc, can he or she take the coronavirus vaccine?
A: Yes. Persons with one or more of these comorbid conditions are considered a high-risk category. They need to get COVID -19 vaccination.
15. Are there any preventive measures and precautions that one needs to follow at the session site?
A: One needs to rest at the vaccination centre for at least half an hour after taking the COVID-19 vaccine and inform the nearest health authorities / ANM / ASHA in case you feel any discomfort or uneasiness subsequently.
16. Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have had the virus?
A: Regardless of the previous infection, every person should plan on getting vaccinated when it's their turn. Scientists still don't know exactly how long the immunity lasts or how strong it is. Vaccines, by contrast, are designed to bring about a more consistent and optimal immune response.