Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccination as part of the national vaccination campaign is voluntary, reiterated by the Union’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in its recently published paper to answer questions from the public in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs) .
“Vaccination for Covid-19 is voluntary. However, it is advisable to receive the full Covid-19 vaccine program to protect yourself from this disease and also to limit the spread of this disease to close contacts including family, friends, relatives and co-workers, “says the government document.
A senior health ministry official, aware of the facts, who declined to be named, said: “The government never said it was mandatory to take the vaccine; it is absolutely on a voluntary basis also for the population group. However, the government is ensuring that whatever choices people make are informed, which is why many efforts are directed towards generating awareness. ”
While ideally, the government would like to cover everyone in stages, the Covid-19 vaccine delivery priority group in stage 1 is drafted with vaccine availability in mind.
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On the Phase 1 priority list are those at highest risk. The first group includes healthcare and frontline workers. The second group to receive the Covid-19 vaccine will be people over the age of 50 and people under the age of 50 with comorbid conditions such as hypertensive, diabetic, people with chronic liver and kidney disease, according to expert recommendation. technicians who manage Covid-19 vaccine management.
The reason for including the over 50 age group for vaccination is that it will be able to cover 78% of people with comorbidities and thereby reduce mortality due to Covid-19.
Eligible beneficiaries will be informed via their registered mobile number about the health facility where vaccination will be delivered and the scheduled vaccination time, to avoid any inconvenience in registration and vaccination.
After receiving all doses of Covid-19 vaccine, the beneficiary will receive a text on their registered mobile number, informing them of the completion of the process. A QR code based certificate will be sent to the beneficiary’s registered mobile number.
However, the vaccine is not recommended for people currently infected with Covid-19. “The person with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 infection may increase the risk of spreading the same to others at the vaccination site. For this reason, infected individuals should postpone vaccination for 14 days after symptoms resolve, “the document states.
Those who have recovered from the disease can take the hit. “It is recommended that you receive a full Covid vaccine program regardless of your past history of Covid-19 infection. This will help develop a strong immune response against the disease,” the paper says.
Two doses of the vaccine, 28 days apart, must be taken by an individual to complete the vaccination schedule. Protective levels of antibodies generally develop two weeks after receiving the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
To allay public safety concerns about the vaccine, the document says, “Vaccines will only be introduced into the country after regulatory bodies have clarified it based on its safety and efficacy.”
Safety and efficacy data from clinical trials of candidate vaccines are under review by the National Drug Regulatory Authority before licensing for its general use. Hence, all Covid-19 vaccines that receive the license will have comparable safety and efficacy. However, the entire vaccination schedule needs to be completed by only one type of vaccine as several Covid-19 vaccines are not interchangeable.
Any of the following photo identification details may be presented upon registration: driver’s license, health insurance, smart card issued under the Ministry of Labor scheme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) work card ), official ID cards issued to parliamentarians / MLA / MLC, PAN card, passbooks issued by bank, post office, passport, pension document, service ID issued to government employees and voter ID.
The vaccinated will have to rest at the vaccination center for at least half an hour after taking the Covid-19 vaccine. In case of any discomfort or inconvenience, they must inform the nearest health authorities, auxiliary obstetric nurse, accredited social health activist.
“As is true for other vaccines, common side effects in some individuals could be mild fever, pain, etc. At the injection site. States have been asked to begin making arrangements to address any Covid-19 vaccine-related side effects as one of the measures for the safe delivery of the vaccine to the masses, “the document states.
People will need to continue to follow appropriate Covid key behaviors, such as wearing a mask, maintaining hand hygiene and physical distance, even after vaccination.