The Covid 19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on health and mental peace of the people. What is relaxing amid the crisis situation is the mass vaccination drive against covid-19 that started from March 1 2021. It started off with vaccinating senior citizens and people with co-morbidities in the age bracket of 45-59 years. Currently it has been extended to all people above 18 years of age. Further it is noted that ICMR chief Balram Bhargava has said that covid-19 vaccines help in reducing the chances of developing severe infection and mortality and also there is a 85 percent reduction in hospitalization after vaccination.
With the vaccination drive getting momentum, we have answered some frequently asked questions around vaccination.
Covid-19 Vaccines Available In India
Two major vaccines used for inoculation in India are
which is manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII). The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca plc, a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company jointly carried out research and created this vaccine. Covishield, being used globally, has over 70.4% efficacy.
which is India’s homegrown Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech. Further it has been recently found to be neutralizing against the UK variant virus and is over 81% effective.
3. Sputnik V
The Drug Regulatory Board of India has also granted permission for the restricted emergency use of Sputnik V, the Russian COVID-19 vaccine with certain conditions.
However, both vaccines Covishield and Covaxin are injected as two shots, with the second dose being taken after a few weeks interval after the first dose.
How to register for Covid-19 vaccination?
Steps to be followed
- Register yourself for Covid-19 vaccination using a valid photo ID and a valid mobile number.
- From one mobile number around 4 people can register, however each of them require their own photo ID.
- If an Aadhar card is used as the photo ID proof, then consent will be obtained and recorded.
- You can schedule the vaccination appointment at the centre of your choice by entering the pincode.
- To register through Aarogya Setu, after opening the app then click on the CoWin tab available on the home screen.
- Choose ‘vaccination registration’ and enter a phone number, followed by an OTP.
- Tap verify and you will be directed to the registration page.
- Follow the instructions mentioned above to register.
- On the vaccination, carry the appointment slip and photo ID used at the time of booking the appointment to the vaccination centre.
- Other valid IDs that can be used for the registration are Driving License, Pan Card, Passbooks, Passport, Pension document, Voter ID etc.
Government hospitals will continue to vaccinate for free, while in a private hospital, a recipient has to pay a maximum of Rs 250 per dose that adds up to Rs. 500 for two doses.
Covid 19 Vaccination – FAQs
1. How long do you have to wait for the second dose of Covid-19 after getting the first dose?
In the case of Covishield vaccine, the Health Ministry recommends a 4 – 8 weeks time interval between the two shots. Whereas, for Covaxin the second dose can be taken four to six weeks after the first one.
The waiting period is to induce an immune response and it takes around 2 to 3 weeks. And it takes even longer periods of (eight weeks or more) for the antibodies to mature and become fully functional.
2. Can we choose the vaccine we receive(covishield or covaxin)?
No, one cannot choose between the two vaccines, as it is provided to states based on availability.
3. Can we take the vaccine if we test positive for Covid-19?
The Ministry of Health recommends one to wait for 4 to 8 weeks after recovering from Covid-19, to get the first dose of the vaccine. They also recommend vaccinating against Covid-19 even after contracting illness, as it can create stronger immunity.
4. Can a person with covid-19 symptoms be vaccinated?
In order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 at the vaccination centres, the Ministry of Health recommends one to wait for a period of 14 days after their symptoms are resolved and then get the shot of the vaccine.
5. Can people taking medication for illnesses like diabetes, hypertension etc take the vaccine?
One can always take the vaccine after consulting with your family doctor or other medical professional.
6. Can pregnant and breastfeeding mothers take the vaccine?
The pregnant and lactating mothers are exempted from taking the vaccine as they have not been included in clinical trials to test the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine.
7. Can the vaccine protect you against the mutant strain of coronavirus?
Based on the available evidence both vaccines are effective against the mutant strains. It is also seen that the Covaxin is particularly effective against the UK variant virus.
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