NEW DELHI: Will the vaccine be given to everyone simultaneously? When will antibodies develop? How will a vaccine be chosen for administration?
With India ready to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine, the government on Sunday tweeted a three-part video series to answer the frequently asked questions about the vaccination process.
In a video released by the Union health ministry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director Dr Randeep Guleria gave a brief explanation on the process and addressed general concerns surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine.
Here are all the vaccine-related queries answered by the AIIMS chief:
Is a Covid-19 vaccine scheduled anytime soon?
Yes, vaccine trials are in different stages of finalisation. Many vaccines are undergoing Phase 3 trials which are almost complete. Once the regulatory clearance is given, the government is all geared up to launch the vaccines.
Will the vaccine be given to everyone simultaneously?
This will depend on the availability of vaccines. The government has also selected priority groups based on risk factors. The first group will include healthcare and frontline workers, the second group will be people over the age of 50 and those under 50 with comorbid conditions.
Is it mandatory to take the vaccine?
Taking the vaccine is voluntary. However, it is advisable to take the complete vaccine schedule as far as Covid-19 is concerned because we want to protect ourselves as well as near & dear ones.
How many doses of the vaccine would have to be taken by me, and at what intervals?
Two doses of vaccine, 28 days apart are needed and this needs to be taken by all to complete the vaccine schedule.
When will antibodies develop?
Protective level of antibodies generally will develop two weeks after receiving the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
What about the possible side-effects?
As is true for all other vaccines, we will have some degree of common side-effects. These could be in the form of mild fever, pain at the site of side-effects, body aches, etc.
States have been asked to make arrangements to deal with any side-effects as one of the measures towards ensuring safe vaccine delivery.
Out of the multiple vaccines available, how is one or more chosen for administration?
The safety and efficacy data from the clinical trials are examined thoroughly by the drug regulator before granting license for the same. Hence, all the vaccines that receive the license will have comparable safety and efficacy.
However, it's important that we ensure that the entire vaccination schedule is completed with one type of vaccine as different vaccines are not interchangeable.
How will I know if I am eligible for vaccination?
In the initial phase, the Covid-19 vaccine will be provided to the priority groups. The eligible beneficiaries will be informed through their registered mobile number regarding the health facility where the vaccine will be provided and the scheduled time for the same. This will be done to avoid any inconvenience in registration and vaccination of beneficiaries.
Can I get the vaccine without registration?
No. I don't think that would be right. The registration is mandatory and the information on the session site will be shared only after registration.
What documents are required for the registration of an eligible beneficiary?
The following documents can be produced with a photo at the time of registration:
Driving license, Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of labour ministry, MGNREGA job card, official ID cards issued by MPs/MLAs/MLCs, PAN card, passbooks issued by banks/post office, passport, pension documents, service ID cards issued to employees by central/state govt/Public Ltd Companies or Voter ID cards.
What if I don't have a Photo ID?
Photo ID is a must for both registration and verification of beneficiary at session site to ensure that the intended person is vaccinated.
How will the beneficiary received information about the due date of vaccination?
Following online registration, beneficiaries will receive SMS on their registered numbers on the due date, place and time of vaccination.
Will I get info on status of vaccination after completion?
Yes, on getting the due dose the beneficiary will receive SMS on their registered number. After all doses are administered, a QR-code based certificate will also be sent.
Can a person presently having active and symptomatic infection be vaccinated?
People with active and symptomatic infection may increase the risk of spreading the same at vaccination sites.
Also, we don't know how effective the vaccine will be in such a situation. For this reason, I believe that people with infection should defer the vaccination for at least 14 days after the symptoms are resolved.
Is it necessary for a Covid recovered person to receive vaccine?
Yes, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of vaccine irrespective of past history of infection with Covid-19. This will help you to develop a better immune response against the disease.
If one is taking medicines for illnesses like cancer, diabetes, hypertensions, etc, can he or she take the vaccine?
Yes, I think it's very important that such individuals take the vaccine because they're high-risk groups. It's important for them to understand that the medicines will not affect the vaccine efficacy.
Any preventive measures/precautions that one needs to follow at the session site?
Yes, I would request that you take at least half-an-hour rest after getting vaccinated. In case of any discomfort or symptoms, please inform the nearest authorities so that they can attend to you.
Will the vaccine be safe as it is being tested and introduced in a short span of time?
Vaccines will be introduced in India only after regulatory bodies clear it for safety & efficacy. All standard precautions taken in the past for vaccine approval will be taken this time as well.
Will the vaccine introduced in India be as effective as the ones introduced in other countries?
Yes. The vaccine introduced in India will be as effective as any vaccine developed by other countries. Various phases of trials are undertaken to ensure the safety and efficacy.