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Covid Vaccination Kicks-Off in India, All that You Need to Know

Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’ and Serum Institute’s ‘Covishield’ signal hope for 2021. Vaccines have been delivered to all States and Union Territories in India, along with a set of detailed guidelines from the Ministry of Health.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually flag off India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive on Saturday via video-conferencing. The vaccine rollout is expected to initially cover 3 lakh frontline healthcare workers across 3006 sites in India. The PM will be interacting with some beneficiaries who are to receive the shot on Day 1 and also launch the government’s CoWIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network) app, a digital platform created for real-time monitoring of coronavirus vaccine delivery and distribution. The app, initially available to registered healthcare workers, is said to be the backbone of this mega-drive and will be available for the general public within a month.

A dose of Covishield and CoVaxin may cost in the range of ₹200-295 in India. The full initial procurement would be borne by the Centre.

According to the guidelines released by the MoH, the initial beneficiaries will be above the age of 18 and exclude pregnant or lactating mothers. The healthcare workers registered on Co-WIN to be vaccinated include doctors, nurses, safai karamcharis, and ambulance drivers from a mixed age group, including those above 50 years.

“The massive countrywide Covid-19 vaccination drive will be rolled out by Prime Minister from January 16. This would be the world’s largest immunisation exercise,” the health ministry has said.

The list of dos and don’ts released also include the following :

• Administration of Covid vaccine should be done in two doses separated by an interval of 14 days.

• The second dose should be of the same vaccine of which the first dose was administered.

• Interchanging Covid-19 vaccines is not allowed.

The letter also talked about some mild adverse side-effects of Covaxin including injection-site pain, headache, fatigue, fever, body ache, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, dizziness-giddiness, tremors, sweating, cold, cough and injection-site swelling. Paracetamol may be used to provide symptomatic relief from adverse post-vaccination reactions.

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