Covid-19 Vaccine In India: All That You Should Know

Around 4,54,049 people get vaccinated against coronavirus in India. There are currently two COVID-19 vaccines being administered in India. Here’s all that you need to know about Covid-19 vaccine.

Covid-19 Vaccination Drive In India

The government of India started the world’s biggest vaccination drive against Covid-19 on 16th January. Data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare confirms vaccination of 4,54,059 people against coronavirus so far. The government will vaccinate frontline healthcare workers, army and police personnel and people over 50 and with co-morbidity conditions on a priority basis.  It plans to vaccinate 300 million people by August. India is the first developing country to roll out Covid-19 vaccine for its 1.3 billion nationals.

The Two Vaccines- Covaxin and Covishield

The government of India gave emergency approval to two Covid-19 vaccines. One is Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine-Covishield. The other is Covaxin developed by Indian pharmaceutical – Bharat Biotech. While Covishield has a full dataset on its efficacy, Covaxin is still in Phase-3 human trials.

Dilemma – To Take or Not?

Though the government has announced the two vaccines as 100% safe, people are still hesitant to receive it. The reason is the absence of full dataset on the efficacy of Covaxin. Unlike Pfizer and Moderna vaccines which developed countries are using, Covaxin has not completed human trials yet. Several researchers and experts have raised questions over the risk associated with using one vaccine over the other. They claim that the government could have waited to approve Covaxin and could have started with Covishield for now.

Adverse Events Following Immunization And Two Deaths

Around 447 recipients of Covid-19 vaccine have suffered Adverse Events Following Immunization. The Health Ministry explained that only three of them required hospitalization.  Further, it added that most of them complained of minor AEFIs, including fever, nausea, and headache. However, it clarified that the effects are minor and common in any immunization programme. Further, regarding two deaths reported in U.P and Karnataka, it explained that these are not related to Covid-19 vaccine. The post mortem report confirmed that both died due to cardiopulmonary failure.

Those receiving Covaxin for vaccination will have to sign a consent form as the government has approved it under clinical trial mode. Also, recipients are provided with a fact sheet and form in which they have to report symptoms. Besides, the company has mentioned that it will provide compensation in case of any serious adverse events suffered by the recipient.

In all, vaccines have never been developed and tested at this pace. However, noting the urgency of the situation and an alarming increase in number of Covid-19 cases, scientists have worked round the clock to start the immunization process. But still, people are in a dilemma whether to get it or not. Health Ministry has reassured people that both vaccines are safe, and people should accept the vaccine.

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