India will begin vaccination against the deadly coronavirus today with frontline health workers receiving the first shots. Vaccines have been flown to 12 cities for the first phase of the drive and kept under armed guard. States have been allotted vaccine doses based on their healthcare workers' data.
The country's drug regulator has approved two vaccines for emergency use - Oxford AstraZeneca's Covishield and indigenously developed Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. Both are two-dose vaccines which have to be administered 28 days apart.
The vaccination drive will use an online digital platform developed by the Health Ministry Co-Win which facilitates in storing real-time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and tracking of vaccine recipients. The Centre has also set up a 24x7 hotline - 1075 - to address questions related to the vaccine rollout.
As India prepares to launch the Covid-19 vaccination drive tomorrow, here's a fact file on the vaccines:
- Pregnant women and lactating mothers should not be administered shots
- People with a history of anaphylactic or allergic reactions should not be given the jabs
- People with an allergy to injectable therapies, pharma products, etc. will not be given vaccine doses
- Patients with clotting or coagulation disorder must undertake special precautions
- Vaccine specific contraindications (condition or factor that serves as a reason to withhold a certain medical treatment) may apply as new information is available
The rollout is expected to cover three lakh healthcare workers across 3,006 sites in the country. As the programme progresses, the number of sites will be ramped up to 5,000 and more.