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India’s covid-19 vaccination drive starts tomorrow! Here’s everything you need to know

Updated on:15 January 2021, 12:24pm IST
Finally, the day for the world's largest covid-19 vaccination drive is here. And here's everything you need to know about it, including if you are eligible for a vaccine right now.
Rhythma Kaul
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India covid-19 vaccination drive
Let's get vaccinated India. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Will the Covid-19 vaccine be given to everyone simultaneously?

No. The government of India has selected priority groups who will be vaccinated based on risk factors.

What are the priority groups?

The first group is of country’s health care workers and frontline workers. The second group is of people over the age of 50 years, and the third priority will be given to people under 50 with comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, heart and kidney diseases etc.

Who will be vaccinated on Saturday?

Health care workers will be vaccinated in the first phase. There are an estimated 10 million health care workers, of which around 300,000 are likely to get vaccinated on day one.

How will I know if I am eligible to get the vaccine?

Eligible individuals will be registered by the government as beneficiaries. The eligible beneficiaries will be informed through their registered mobile number through an sms, regarding the health facility where your vaccination will happen, and the time of vaccination.

India covid-19 vaccination drive
The wait for covid-19 vaccine over. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Can we get vaccinated without registration?

No. Only registered beneficiaries will get the vaccine at the session site on the day of the vaccination.

What documents are required for registration?

One of the 12 government photo ids: Aadhar card, voter id, driving license, PAN card, service id card with photo issued to employees by the central, state govts, public sector undertakings, public ltd companies, MNREGA job card, passport, smart card issued by rgi under NPR, pension document with photo, official ids issued to MPs, MLAs, MLCs, passbook with photo issued by bank or post office, and health insurance smart card under the scheme of labour ministry.

Do I need to carry a photo id along to the vaccination centre?

Yes. The same photo id that was used for registration will be needed for verification of registration at the vaccination site.

Will vaccinated beneficiaries receive information after vaccination?

Yes, on getting due dose of vaccine, the beneficiary will receive sms on their registered mobile number. After all doses are administered, a QR-code based certificate will also be sent to the registered mobile number of the beneficiary.

How many Covid-19 vaccines are approved for use in India?

Two vaccines have been granted restricted emergency use approval by India’s drugs controller early this year. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine locally manufactured by Serum Institute of India under the name Covishield

Will there be a choice between the vaccines?

No. It is at the discretion of the government authorities which one of the two vaccines you get.

Will the vaccines be safe if it is tested and introduced in a short span of time?

The vaccines have been approved by the national drugs regulator only after looking at the clinical trials data both from animals and humans. The safety and immunogenicity of both the vaccines has been well established.

 Are there any precautions needed to be taken after vaccination?

Take rest for at least 30 minutes after vaccination to check if there are any symptoms or any discomforts. If there are then inform the vaccination team at the site for medical attention

If one is taking medicines for cancer, diabetes, hypertension or any other chronic condition, can the vaccine still be taken?

Yes. These people should take the vaccine as they are actually high-risk groups

Can pregnant women and children take the vaccine?

No, the vaccine is not meant for pregnant and lactating women. It is also currently meant to be given to people above 18 years of age.

India covid-19 vaccination drive
Let’s fight covid-19. Shutterstock
Can those with active Covid-19 disease take the vaccine?

No. They should wait four-eight weeks after recovery before taking the shot.

Are there any side-effects of Covid-19 vaccines?

There are largely minor side-effects observed such as mild fever, pain at the site of infection, head and body ache, nausea, weakness etc.

Is it mandatory to take the vaccine?

Vaccine for Covid-19 is voluntary. Experts, however, advise people should take the vaccine to protect themselves and their family members and close contacts

Rhythma Kaul Rhythma Kaul

Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics, including ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.