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India is all set to start world's one of the largest COVID-19 vaccination drive from this week. The drug regulator granted the emergency use approval for two indigenous vaccines — Covishield by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech.

Explaining the timeline of the coronavirus vaccination, the health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that there would be two doses of the vaccine which will be given at a 28-day interval.

The effectiveness of the vaccine would begin only after 14 days of receiving the second dose, Bhushan further added. "Hence it is imperative to maintain COVID-19 appropriate behavior even after receiving the coronavirus vaccine, he mentioned.

On the choice of COVID-19 vaccine, health secretary answered, "Till now in no country where vaccination has started, people don't have a choice on which vaccine to take."

"We should have no doubt that the two vaccines approved are the safest of the vaccines, said VK Paul," member of Niti Aayog. "Both the vaccines have been tested on thousands of people and side-effects are negligible. There is no risk of any significance," he sai

In the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, health workers, both from government and private institutions, will be vaccinated along with sanitation workers, other frontline workers, defence forces, police and other paramilitary forces.

The central government on Monday ordered 1.1 crore doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from Serum Institute of India, the Pune-based pharmaceutical firm confirmed. The cost of the vaccine to the government would be 200 per vaccine dose for first 100 million doses, the drugmaker noted. The Centre procured 55 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses from Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech. The vaccines will reach all the states in the next two days, says the health secretary.


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