For now, COVID vaccine recipients will not get to choose from 2 options: Govt

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New Delhi, Jan 12 (PTI) The government hinted on Tuesday that for now, the COVID vaccine recipients will not have the option to choose from the two vaccines recently approved for restricted emergency use in India. Replying to a question at a press conference here, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, 'At many places in the world, more than one vaccine are being administered, but presently, in no country, vaccine recipients have the option of choosing the shots.' India has recently approved two vaccines for the viral disease for restricted emergency use -- Oxford University's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.

Bhushan said there will be a gap of 28 days between two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and its effectiveness can be seen only after 14 days.

'So we urge people to keep following COVID appropriate behaviour,' he said.

India will launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers. Bhushan said 54.72 lakh of the entire stock of COVID-19 vaccine doses ordered so far were received by the designated national and state-level vaccine stores till Tuesday afternoon, with the coronavirus inoculation drive set to begin from Saturday.

He said all the orders -- 1.1 crore doses of Covishield from the Serum Institute of India and 55 lakh doses of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech -- will be received by January 14. PTI PLB UZM RC