- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said the vaccination for COVID-19 in the country will be voluntary
- The union ministry claims that vaccine in India will be as effective against novel Coronavirus as the ones overseas
- The ministry advises to get a complete schedule of the COVID-19 vaccine irrespective of history of infection
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that getting vaccinated for the novel Coronavirus in the country will be voluntary, however, claimed that the vaccine introduced in India will be as effective as the ones developed overseas.
The Union Ministry of Health also said that people are advised to receive a schedule of the COVID-19 vaccine regardless of the past history of infection with the novel Coronavirus as this will aid in boosting and developing a stronge immune system against the deadly disease.
The Ministry informed that it will be only 2 weeks after the second dosage that a protective level of antibodies will be developed, on a general scale.
On Thursday night, the Ministry posted a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the vaccine of COVID-19 and responded to the questions such as if getting COVID-19 vaccine was mandatory, how long does it generally take for the antibodies to develop and if it was necessary for a person who recovered from COVID-19 to take the vaccine.
In response to a question asking if it was mandatory to take the COVID-19 vaccine, the ministry responded, “Vaccination for COVID-19 is voluntary. However, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of the vaccine for protecting one-self against this disease and also to limit the spread of this disease to the close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers”.
The ministry added that multiple vaccines are under different stages of finalisation and the government is readying itself to launch the COVID-19 as soon as possible.
Six vaccines are currently under going clinical trials in India which are as follows:
- Vaccine from Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR
- Vaccine developed by Zydus Cadila
- mRNA Vaccines developed by Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Limited
- Oxford vaccine trial of which is conducted by Serum Institute of India
- Sputnik V vaccine which is being produced by Dr Reddy’s Lab, Hyderabad, in collaboration with Russia’s Gamaleya National Centre
- The 6th manufactured by Biological E Ltd, Hyderabad, in collaboration with MIT, USA
When asked if a vaccine will be safe as it is being developed, tested and introduced in a very short period of time and also what could be the possible sideeffects of a vaccine, the ministry answered that the vaccines will be introduced in the country only after getting clearance from the regulatory bodies basing on its safety and efficacy.
IN the FAQs the Ministry said, “COVID-19 vaccine will be introduced only when the safety is proven. As is true for other vaccines, the common side effects in some individuals could be mild fever, pain, etc. at the site of injection”.
It added that the states have been requested to begin with the arrangements to cope up with the vaccine related side effects as one of the measures towards safe vaccine delivery.
It stated that two doses of vaccines – 28 days apart from one another – need to be taken by a person in order to complete the vaccination schedule.
The Ministry of Health said that if a person is on medications for the illness including Cancer, Diabetes and Hypertension, he/ she can take the COVID-19 vaccine as people with one or more of these comorbid conditions are considered high-risk category and they need to get the vaccination.
Responding to another question raised of whether the COVID-19 vaccine will be provided to everyone simultaneously, the ministry said, “that based on the potential availability of vaccines, the government has selected priority groups to be vaccinated as they are at higher risk” as cited by a leading news channel in India.
It said in the initial stage, the vaccine for the novel Coronavirus will be given to the priority group who are the healthcare and frontline workers. People in 50 plus age group could also begin early based on the availability of the vaccine.
The eligible beneficiaries will be informed via their registered mobile number in regards to the health facility where the COVID-19 vaccine will be given along with the scheduled time. This is suggested to avoid inconvenience in the registration and vaccination of beneficiaries, the ministry said in the FAQs.
Answer the question as to why the healthcare providers and frontline workers are given the priority for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, the ministry said that the government has prioritised the people at highest risk/high risk groups which will get the vaccine first.
As the healthcare providers and frontline workers have led the battle against COVID-19 in the country since the first day of the outbreak the government wants them to be able to continue their work, without the fear of risk associated with the virus.
The ministry said, “Therefore, healthcare and frontline workers are among the first group of people to be vaccinated”.
The Ministry clarified that to get COVID-19 vaccination, registration will be mandatory of the beneficiary. It added that it will be only after the registration that the information on the session site to visit and time will be shared.
After the registration, the beneficiary will receive an SMS on their registered mobile number on the due date, place and time of vaccination.
At the time of the registration, the beneficiary could be asked to produce the following documents:
- ID with Photo such as driving license
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) job card
- PAN Card
- Passbooks issued by Bank/Post Office, passport
- Pension Document
- Service identity card issued to employees by Central/ State Govt./ Public Limited Companies
- Voter ID Card
Upon getting the due dose of COVID-19 vaccination, the beneficiary will receive another SMS on their registered mobile number.
Once all of the doses of COVID-19 vaccine are administered, a QR code based certificate will also be sent to the registered mobile number of the beneficiary, the ministry said.
Talking about the precautions and preventive measures for COVID-19 vaccines, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said, “We request you to rest at the vaccination centre for at least half an hour after taking the COVID-19 vaccine.”
The Ministry added, “Inform the nearest health authorities/ANM/ASHA in case you feel any discomfort or uneasiness subsequently.
“Remember to continue following key COVID Appropriate Behaviours like wearing of mask, maintaining hand sanitization and physical distance,” it said.