19 Dec 2020: Centre releases FAQs on India's COVID-19 vaccination drive: Details here
The Centre is set to launch one of the largest vaccination drives against the deadly COVID-19 across India early next year.
To answer questions about the immunization program, the Union Health Ministry on Friday released a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to create awareness. It responded to various questions, including whether taking the vaccine is necessary for a COVID-19-recovered person.
FAQs: 21 FAQs for public; 6 for healthcare providers, frontline workers
The Union Health Ministry issued a total of 21 FAQs for the public, along with a list of six FAQs for the healthcare providers and frontline workers.
It addressed questions such as if taking the vaccine is mandatory, how long do antibodies take to develop after vaccination, and if it is necessary for a person who has recovered from COVID-19 to take the vaccine.
Major question: Should COVID-19-recovered patients take the vaccine?
According to the Ministry, it is advisable even for people who have recovered from COVID-19 to take the vaccine in order to build a strong immune response against the disease.
"It is advisable to receive a complete schedule of COVID vaccine irrespective of the past history of infection with COVID-19. This will help in developing a strong immune response against the disease," it said.
Fact: COVID-19-positive patients should defer vaccination for 14 days
Notably, the Ministry said that people who have tested positive but not yet recovered from the disease "should defer vaccination for 14 days after symptoms resolution" as they "may increase the risk of spreading the same to others at (the) vaccination site."
Vaccination: Two doses must be taken to complete vaccination schedule
On the vaccination procedure, the Centre said, "Two doses of vaccine, 28 days apart, need to be taken by an individual to complete the vaccination schedule. Protective levels of antibodies are generally developed two weeks after receiving the second dose."
In the initial phase, healthcare and frontline workers will be prioritized. "50-plus age group may also begin early based on vaccine availability," it said.
Fact: Priority will be given to those at higher risk
"Due to the limited vaccine supply in the initial phase, it will first be provided to people who are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. In subsequent phases, the...vaccine will be made available to all others in need of the same," said the Ministry.
Details: Beneficiaries will be informed of vaccination schedule on registered number
The Ministry said eligible beneficiaries will be informed on their registered mobile number when and where the vaccination will be provided.
It advised beneficiaries to rest at the vaccination center at least for 30 minutes after taking the vaccine, and inform concerned health authorities in case of discomfort.
It said common side effects could include mild fever, body aches, and pain at the site of injection.
Photo ID: Vaccine won't be administered if individuals don't produce photo ID
"Photo ID is a must for both registration and verification of beneficiary at the session site to ensure that the intended person is vaccinated," said the Ministry.
Any of the following documents can be used for registration: driving license, MGNERGA job card, PAN card, bank passbook, passport, pension document, voter-ID, official IDs of MPs/MLAs/MLCs, government-issued service ID card, and Labor Ministry-issued health insurance smartcard.