Home / News / India /  COVID-19 vaccine: How many doses will you need? Is there any side-effect? All you need to know

India is gearing up to commence one of the largest coronavirus vaccination drives in the world, starting from 16 January. The country earlier gave nod to emergency use of two indigenous COVID-19 vaccines — Covishield by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech. The states have already started receiving the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines.

Nearly 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers will receive the jab during the first phase of COVID-19 inoculation drive. The list includes health workers, both from government and private institutions, along with sanitation workers, other frontline workers, defence forces, police and other paramilitary forces.

From how many doses one should take to probable side-effects of the vaccination, a list questions are bound to emerge. Here is your COVID-19 vaccination cheat sheet

What are the two COVID-19 vaccines?

During the first phase of coronavirus vaccination drive in the country, people will receive two vaccines — Covishield and Covaxin.

COVID-19 dosing schedule:

The health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on Monday 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, asking all "to maintain COVID-19 appropriate behavior even after receiving the coronavirus vaccine."

How effective are COVID-19 vaccines?

Covishield is highly effective vaccine against novel coronavirus," Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer, Serum Institute of India earlier mentioned. Researchers claim the vaccine protected against disease in 62% of those given two full doses and in 90% of those initially given a half dose.

Covaxin, has showed long-term antibody and T-cell memory responses (three-months after vaccination) in phase I volunteers, and tolerable safety outcomes in the Phase II trials, according to reports.

Can I choose my COVID-19 vaccine?

No, there will not be an option to choose which coronavirus vaccine you want to receive. Answering to this question, health secretary Rajesh Bhusan said, "Till now in no country where vaccination has started, people don't have a choice on which vaccine to take."

COVID-19 vaccine side-effects:

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

Can a person presently having COVID-19 (confirmed or suspected) infection be vaccinated?

Person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection may increase the risk of spreading the same to others at vaccination site. For this reason, infected individuals should defer vaccination for 14 days after symptoms resolution.

Will COVID-19 vaccination be voluntary?

The COVID-19 vaccination will be voluntary, the health ministry earlier stated. However it is advisable "to receive the complete schedule of the vaccine for protecting one-self against this disease and also to limit the spread of this disease to the close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers," the ministry said.

What will be the cost of COVID-19 vaccines?

Serum Institute of India said that they would be supplying 1.1 crore doses to the central government at a fixed price of 200 per dose. Similarly, the first 55 lakh doses of Covaxin, procured by the government from Bharat Biotech, would cost 206 per dose.

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