In the wake of the global pandemic of 2020, when nearly every country in the world was cataclysmically affected by COVID-19, there was a phenomenal race for the vaccine in which different countries and different companies achieved varying degrees of success. Following the footsteps of these remarkable achievements, the mega vaccination drive has begun in India from 16 January 2021. It has already kicked off across India with over 62 Lakh people inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine so far. The COVID-19 vaccine introduced in India is as effective as a vaccine developed by other countries. The digital platform anchoring India’s massive COVID-19 vaccination will be able to handle up to 10 million shots daily.
Who should and Who should not?
Under the Emergency Usage Authorization (EAU), COVID-19 vaccination is only for people above 18 years. It is advisable to receive a complete schedule of COVID vaccine, irrespective of the history of infection with COVID-19. This will help in developing a strong immune response against the disease. Persons with comorbid conditions like Diabetes, Cancer, hypertension etc., are in the high-risk category. It is imperative that they take the COVID -19 vaccination.
Pregnant and lactating women should not receive COVID-19 vaccine at this time. Also, anyone with an allergic reaction to the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine should not opt for vaccination. A person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection may increase the risk of spreading the same to others at the vaccination site. For this reason, infected individuals should defer vaccination for 14 days after symptoms resolution.
COVID-19 vaccine will only be available for those who have access to the CoWIN app or website. The app is available on Google Playstore and Apple store. Any government-issued photo ID (Aadhar, Pan, Voter ID, and Driving License) can be produced during registration. Individuals will be informed about the date, time and place of vaccination after the registration. The CoWIN app is currently meant for healthcare officials to perform tasks as vaccinator, supervisors and surveyors. The same will be available for general people once Phase 2 of vaccination starts.
Photo ID is necessary for both registration and verification of beneficiary . On getting a due dose of COVID-19 vaccine, the beneficiary will receive a SMS on their registered mobile number. After all doses of the vaccination, the beneficiary will receive a QR code-based certificate.
The vaccination of the front line workers will start from the first-week of February. Senior citizens will receive the vaccination in phase 3.
It is common to experience some minor side effects like headache, fever, injection site tenderness, nausea, etc. In such cases, paracetamol works well. Severe AEFI (adverse event following immunization) like high fever (above 102 degrees), or anaphylaxis requires immediate hospitalization.