Doses, Side Effects & Prices: All You Need to Know About India's Historic Covid-19 Vaccination Drive

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India is set to begin the world's largest Covid-19 vaccination drive, inoculating 3 crore people on priority. On Saturday - the first day of the drive - over 3 lakh healthcare workers will be administered the vaccine against Covid-19, the deadly respiratory disease which has now killed and infected millions across the world, upended economies and lives.

A total of 3,006 session sites across all states and union territories will be virtually connected during the launch at 10.30 am by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site. As India begins its journey into what the Health Ministry has called 'the beginning of the end', here are all your doubts addressed about the mammoth exercise:

What are the vaccines approved by India, and their prices? |

The vaccines Covishield, developed by the Serum Institute of India, and Covaxin from Bharat Biotech have been approved by the Indian government. These have already been delivered to all states and union territories. A dose of Covishield and CoVaxin may cost in the range of ₹200 to 295 in India. Serum Institute chief Adar Poonawalla has also said that the jab may cost Rs 1,000 in the private market.

READ: India Grants Approval to Two Vaccines Against Covid, Sets Stage for Mass Rollout

Are there any side-effects to the vaccines? |

The Health Ministry has cautioned about mild side effects following vaccination for both the vaccines. In case of Covishied, some mild adverse effects may occur like injection site tenderness, injection site pain, headache, fatigue, myalgia, malaise, pyrexia, chills and arthralgia and nausea. Some mild adverse effects in case of Covaxin include injection site pain, headache, fatigue, fever, body ache, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, dizziness-giddiness, tremor, sweating, cold, cough and injection site swelling. Paracetamol may be used to provide symptomatic relief from post vaccination adverse reactions, the letter added.

READ: Covid Vaccination Drive Begins Today: Centre Lists Dos and Don'ts, Possible Side Effects

There should be no mixing of doses: Health Ministry |

In a letter to all states and Union territories, the Health Ministry underlined that the coronavirus vaccination is indicated only for 18 years and above under the emergency use authorisation. Besides, interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines is not permitted, the ministry said. “Second dose should also be of the same COVID-19 vaccine which was administered as the first dose," the letter written by Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary, Health Ministry said.

READ: Compensation if Covaxin Causes Serious Adverse Effect, Reads Consent Form as India Starts Inoculation

Who is in the priority group?

Healthcare workers will receive the jab first because they are at high risk of contracting the infection. Next, come the frontline workers, the vaccination of whom will help in reducing the societal and economic impact by reducing COVID-19 mortalities. And lastly, persons over 50 years of age and persons under 50 years with comorbid conditions will be inoculated, due to there being high mortality in the category.

What about the CoWIN application?

Co-WIN is an online platform designed by the Centre for monitoring COVID-19 vaccine delivery. The health ministry has said it will form the foundation for the anti-coronavirus inoculation drive. The app is also designed to enable citizens to self-register for the vaccination process. However, that will take some time as the vaccination drive will start for frontline workers and other vulnerable citizens. The government had explained that the Co-WIN app comes with five modules, namely - Administrator module, Registration module, Vaccination module, Beneficiary Acknowledgement module, and Report module - to ensure smooth tracking and registration for COVID-19 vaccine in the country. The mobile app is also an upgraded version of the eVIN (Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network) and it will be available to download for free via the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, though its availability details remain unclear. The app may also launch on Jio phones that run on KaiOS.

Explained: Co-WIN App Will Let You Register for COVID-19 Vaccine in India, Here's How it Works