Nearly a year after India reported its first coronavirus case, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Sunday approved Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.
Addressing the media, 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 and allergy are common for every vaccine.” “Serum and Bharat Biotech vaccines have to be administered in two doses. All the three vaccines have to be stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius,” Somani further said.
Following the announcement, the Health Ministry released a video where All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr Randeep Guleria answers some common questions about coronavirus vaccines.
Here are some of the frequents asked questions (FAQs) on Covid-19 vaccination:
How will I know if I am eligible for vaccination?
In the initial phase, Covid-19 vaccine will be provided to priority group that includes healthcare and frontline workers. Citizens above 50 years of age may also be preferred depending upon the availability of vaccine. The eligible beneficiaries of Covid-19 vaccination will be informed via their registered mobile numbers regarding the location of the health facility and the scheduled time in which vaccine will be registered.
Is it possible to get vaccinated for Covid-19 without registering with the health department?
No. Registration for the Covid-19 vaccination with the health department is mandatory. It is only after the registration that the details of the locations and time schedule of the vaccination centre will be shared with the beneficiary.
What documents are needed for registration of an eligible beneficiary?
Government identification cards, namely, driving licence, Health Insurance smart card issued by the Ministry of Labour, MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) job card, official ID cards issued by MPs, members of state legislature, Permanent Account Number (PAN) card, passbooks issued by the banks or post offices, pension documents, service identity cards issued by employers, voter ID cards can be used at the time of registration for Covid-19 vaccination.
What precautions or preventive measures to follow at the Covid-19 vaccination site?
It is advised that the person who is vaccinated should take rest for 30 minutes after the administration of vaccine. If any symptom/unease develops, the nearby health workers should be informed immediately.
How many doses will be given and at what interval?
Two doses of the vaccine will have to be taken 28 days apart and protective levels of antibodies generally would develop two weeks after the second dose. After all doses of the vaccine are administered, a QR-code based certificate will also be sent to the mobile number of the beneficiary. If you feel any symptoms, any discomfort, please contact the nearest authorities like ANM, ASHA workers so that they can attend to the problem.