Vaccine Questions Answered As India Set For First Covid Shots

Both vaccines -- Serum Institute's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin -- are two-dose vaccines that have to be administered with a 28-day gap.

Vaccine Questions Answered As India Set For First Covid Shots

Around 30 crore people will be vaccinated in the next few months during the nationwide drive.

New Delhi:

Ahead of the launch of Covid vaccination on Saturday, the Centre has circulated a factsheet with information on the two vaccines -- Covishield and Covaxin -- that will be used in what officials describe as the 'world's biggest' such exercise. Around 30 crore people will be vaccinated in the next few months during the nationwide drive.

Both vaccines -- Serum Institute's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin -- were cleared for emergency use by the country's drug regulator earlier this month, and are two-dose vaccines that have to be administered with a 28-day gap.

Around 3 crore healthcare workers and frontline workers will be vaccinated in the first phase. In the second phase, those above 50 years and those under 50 years with co-morbid conditions will be vaccinated, according to the government.

Here are the key points in the factsheet released by the Health Ministry:

  1. Only those who are above the age of 18 years will be eligible to take the vaccine, says the letter sent by Health Ministry to all the states/union territories. Women who are pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy and lactating mothers should not receive the vaccine, the advisory says.
  2. The centre also warns against interchangeability of vaccine. "The second dose of the vaccine should also be of the one that was administered as first dose," it says.
  3. Special precatuions should be taken while administering the vaccine to those with history of any bleeding or coagulation disorder (e.g. clotting factor deficiency, coagulopathy or platelet disorder), the advisory says.
  4. There is also a strict protocol for people who contracted the virus.
  5. "Vaccination will have to be deferred for four to eight weeks after recovery of patients with active Covid symptoms, those who have been given plasma therapy, and those who are unwell and hospitalized for any other reason," says the letter sent by Dr Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary, Health Ministry, in the letter.