India Covid-19 vaccination: FAQs on schedule, precautions, side effects

The priority groups for vaccination comprise country’s health care workers and frontline workers; people over the age of 50 years; and people under 50 with comorbidities
Covid-19 reaches Thane to be distributed in Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts in Maharashtra, on January 13. (HT file)
Covid-19 reaches Thane to be distributed in Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts in Maharashtra, on January 13. (HT file)
Updated on Jan 15, 2021 11:36 AM IST
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India is launching the world’s largest Covid-19 vaccination drive on Saturday with 300,00 health care workers set to be inoculated on the first day itself. Here’s all there’s to know about the Covid-19 vaccination drive being launched on January 16:

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

No. 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 will be of 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 1.

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 their vaccination will happen, and the time of vaccination.

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: Aadhaar card, voter ID, driving license, PAN card, service ID card with photo issued to employees by the Central, state govts, public sector undertakings, public limited companies, MNREGA job card, passport, smart card issued 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 an SMS on their registered mobile number. After all the 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 of 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 vaccine 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, 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.

Can those with active Covid-19 disease take the vaccine?

No. They should wait 4-8 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 to take the vaccine to protect themselves and their family members and close contacts


    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.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2022