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Is the Covid vaccine safe? Is the vaccination mandatory? FAQs

 Since the vaccine is being introduced in a short span of time, will it be safe?

After the regulatory bodies have cleared the vaccines based on its safety and efficacy, only then they will be introduced in the country,

INDIA APPROVES 2 VACCINES FOR COVID-19

The Approved Vaccines in India

Serum Institute of India's

Covishield (based on the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca)and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin were approved for restricted emergency use. 


Efficacy of the Vaccines

Neither Covishield nor Covaxin has completed phase-3 trials in India.

*Covishield's efficacy is reported to be 70.4% based on phase-3 trials conducted in the UK and Brazil. 

*As for Covaxin, efficacy data of the ongoing phase-3 trials have not been made public yet.


In DCGI's Words

Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) VG Somani said, "We will never approve anything if there's slightest of safety concern. Vaccines are 110% safe. Some side effects like mild fever, pain & allergy are common for every vaccine."

What Happens Now

The government is set to embark on one of the largest immunisation programmes, with nearly 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers set to receive vaccine doses in the first phase.


Is it mandatory to get vaccinated?

Taking the Covid-19 vaccine is voluntary.

However, it has been advised to receive the complete vaccine schedule for protection against Covid-19.


Is it necessary for a Covid recovered person to get vaccinated?

It has been advised to receive the complete schedule of vaccine irrespective of past history of infection because this will help you to develop a strong immune response.


Can the vaccine be taken by a person already on medication for illness like cancer, diabetes, etc?

Yes. People with comorbid conditions are considered more vulnerable so they need to get vaccinated


Can a person presently having a confirmed/suspected Covid infection be vaccinated?

Persons with confirmed/suspected Covid-19 infection may increase the risk of spreading the same to others at vaccination sites. So, they should defer vaccination for 14 days after symptoms resolution.


How is one or more vaccine chosen for administration out of the multiple vaccines available?

Only the Covid-19 vaccines that receive license by the Drug Regulator will be safe & effective.

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.


What documents are required for the registration process?

Any government issued photo ID can be produced at the time of registration. Valid documents include Aadhaar, Driving license, PAN card, Voter ID among others

The eligible beneficiaries will be informed on their registered mobile number.


How will the beneficiary receive information about the due date of vaccination?

Followed by a mandatory registration, the beneficiary will receive an SMS on their mobile number about the due date, time and place of vaccination where they need to be present with a Photo ID

After getting the vaccine, the beneficiary will receive a QR-code based certificate on their mobile number. 


How many doses will be needed to be taken and how long will it take to develop the antibodies?

Two doses, 28 days apart, need to be taken by a person as a complete vaccination schedule. Protective levels of the antibodies are generally developed 2 weeks after taking the 2nd dose of the vaccine.


What are the possible side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

It is currently not clear what side-effects it may cause and the vaccine will be introduced only when the safety is proven

Similar to other vaccines, common side effects may include mild fever, pain at the site of injection, etc

States have been asked to make arrangements to deal with Covid-19 vaccine-related side-effects.


HOW WILL THE DISTRIBUTION PLAN FOR COVID VACCINE WORK IN INDIA?

ORIGIN:

PUNE (SII'S COVID-19 VACCINE PRODUCTION FACILITIES)

For places near Pune, vaccines would be delivered by road. Whereas, on longer routes, cargo flights will carry the pallets.


FIXED CONSIGNEE POINTS OR PLACES

These points will be responsible for handing over vaccine shipments to the states in capital cities and prominent urban centres

VACCINE STOCKING

Vaccine will be stocked at 4 Government Medical Store Depots in Karnal, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and state and regional vaccine stores.

Refrigerated vans will carry the vaccine to the last point in the cold chain (Primary Health Centres & Community Health Centres.


STATE ADMINISTRATIONS DISTRICT AUTHORITIES

The vaccine will be delivered to the district authorities in cold boxes using insulated vaccine vans which will then be transported to the inoculation centres being set up across the country.


GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS, PUBLIC HEALTH CENTRES OR LARGE PRIVATE HOSPITALS

Initially, the first 2 priority groups: Healthline and frontline workers, will receive the vaccine doses.


INOCULATION CENTRES

Polling booths, community halls etc, will be set up as inoculation centres to vaccinate the remaining high-risk population of elderly adults and those suffering from comorbidities.


VILLAGES

Vaccines carriers with ice packs will be used to transport vaccines from PHCs to the outreach sessions in the village, according to an official.


The Distribution Process

As per reports, vaccine consignments will be shipped to over 30 vaccination hubs. The state governments will then supply the vaccine shots to various cities and towns,

In the first vaccine drive, doses will be dispatched to various hospitals where health workers will be the first ones to get vaccinated.

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