In recent decades, India has emerged as a vaccine powerhouse because the pharmaceutical giants in wealthy nations have made a paradigm shift towards high-profit, specialist products. India has the largest number of WHO-approved vaccines that are exported across the world?
India has recorded the second-highest number of infections in the world, with more than 10.3 million confirmed cases to date. Nearly 150,000 people have died. The drug regulation authority gave the green flag to AstraZeneca with Oxford University, India’s homegrown vaccine by Bharat Biotech – Covaxin and Serum Insitute’s – Covisheild.
India began the world’s largest Covid-19 vaccination campaign on January 04. As of now, Indian authorities plan to inoculate some 300 million people on a priority list this year. The recipients include 30 million doctors, nurses, & frontline workers, and 270 million people who are either over 50 or have illnesses that make them vulnerable to COVID-19.
The Covid-19 vaccines mass-produced in India are safe, relatively cheaper, and easy to handle. This might make Indian firms manufacturing vaccines such as Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute – the world’s highest vaccine maker, renowned for producing and distributing the treatment.
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How to Get COVID 19 Vaccine?
Only those who have pre-registered in the Co-WIN website or app will get the Covid-19 vaccine at the vaccination centres. If you are not a healthcare or frontline worker, the prioritization will be based on age and co-morbidities.
Once registered, the platform will assist in automated session allocation followed by verification. Upon successful completion of the vaccine schedule, you will be given a digital certificate. No spot-registrations or requests will be entertained in the vaccination drive.
How to Register for COVID-19 Vaccine?
If you’re not a frontline health worker, you will have to mandatorily register for the vaccine via the website CoWin or the CoWin app. The app is available for both Apple and Android users. However, it is to be noted that both the app and the website will be live soon.
As per the guidelines, 12 photo-identity documents, including Voter ID, Aadhar Card, Driving License, Passport, and pension documents are required for self-registration on the Co-WIN website. Upon registration, you will receive an SMS on the registered mobile number on the due date mentioning the place and time of vaccination.
Covid-19 Vaccination FAQ
Following are the Frequently Asked Questions that we have tried to answer for you:
Are you eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine without registration?
No, registration is mandatorily required for vaccination. Once, the registration is complete, information of time, date and venue will be shared.
Is it mandatory to take the Covid-19 vaccine?
The vaccine is voluntary and not mandatory. But the government has advised the people to take the vaccine and complete the entire dosage. If you suffer from any problem such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, or any other high-risk problem, it is recommended to take the vaccine.
How will one know if he/she is eligible for vaccination?
If you’re eligible, you will be informed of your mobile number.
How many doses of the vaccine are required to be taken?
There are two doses of vaccine which are to be given to the beneficiary 28 days apart.
Who all will get the Covid -19 vaccine first?
Healthcare Workers – As per the recommendations laid down by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration, one crore healthcare workers working across the nation in both government and private hospitals will be the first to be inoculated. Further, they have been divided into frontline workers, Integrated Child Development Services workers, nurses, supervisors, pharmaceutical staff, medical offers, support staff, and medical interns.
Frontline Workers – Approx two crore frontline workers working with central and state police services, armed forces, civil defence organization, home guard, revenue officials, prison staff, disaster management, municipal workers working with Covod-19 surveillance, and other associated activities are next in the row to be inoculated. Workers associated with the state government and ministries of defence, urban affairs, housing will also receive the vaccination in the first phase.
People aged above 50 years – This group is further divided: people above the age group of 60 years and the people above the age of 50 years with co-morbidities will be given the vaccine first. The latest electoral roll of Assembly or Lok Sabha elections will be used for identifying the population for immunization. January 01, 2021, is the cutoff date to calculate the age. This means anyone born on or before January 1971 will fall in this category.
What about the rest of the population?
India’s health minister Harsh Vardhan has said that 300 million Indians—about 22% of the population—will be given the vaccine by August or September 2021. During a Health Ministry conference when asked how long it would take to immunize all of India’s population of over 1.3 billion people for Covid-19?
The health minister secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the government had never spoken about inoculating everyone in India. Also, it depends on the availability of the vaccine.
Is the vaccine introduced in India as safe and effective as the ones introduced in other countries?
Yes. The COVID 19 vaccine introduced in India will be as effective as any vaccine developed by other countries. Various phases of vaccine trials are undertaken to ensure its safety and efficacy.
I’m taking medicine for hypertension? Can I take the Covid-19 vaccine?
Yes, if you or any other person is taking medicine for one or more such comorbid conditions namely cancer, diabetes, and hypertension, etc. comes under high-risk categories. Hence, you need to get COVID -19 vaccinations.
Do one needs to follow any preventive measures and precautions at the session site?
After taking the Covid-19 vaccine, it is recommended to rest at the vaccination centre for at least half an hour. If after that you feel any discomfort or uneasiness, immediately inform the nearest health authorities / ANM / ASHA.
Any possible side-effects of the Covid-19 vaccination?
After thorough research, the vaccine has been launched in India. Even with other vaccines, you might suffer common side effects such as mild fever, pain at the site of injection, etc. Need not panic about it. All the states have been asked to make suitable arrangements to deal with Covid-19 vaccine-related side effects.
Can a person with active Covid-19 be vaccinated?
It is advised that the active and symptomatic individuals should not undergo vaccination for at least 14 days until the symptoms are gone.
Is it necessary for the recovered person to undergo Covid-19 vaccination?
Regardless of the history of the infection, it is advised to receive the complete schedule of the Covid vaccine. This will make your immune system stronger in responding to the disease.
Does India have the capacity to store the vaccine at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius and transport them within such temperature?
India is running the largest one-of-its-kind immunization program worldwide. Already the vaccine needs of more than 26 million newborns and 29 million pregnant women are being catered to. The programming mechanism has been developed to effectively cater to the diverse population of India.
India spends a paltry 1.29 percent of GDP on public healthcare, compared to more than 9 percent in the UK and Australia. Hope the Covid 19 vaccination drive does not undermine other important health and immunization programs such as tuberculosis and polio drive. India has already postponed its 2021 polio vaccination drive, citing “unforeseen circumstances”. Covid-19 should not be the only concern.