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Member (Health), NITI Aayog Dr. Vinod K. Paul along with the Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Rajesh Bhushan addressing a press conference on the actions taken, preparedness and updates on Covid-19, in New Delhi on Tuesday (ANI)
Member (Health), NITI Aayog Dr. Vinod K. Paul along with the Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Rajesh Bhushan addressing a press conference on the actions taken, preparedness and updates on Covid-19, in New Delhi on Tuesday (ANI)

People won't be given a choice on which Covid vaccine to take: Govt

'In many countries, more than one vaccine is being used. There is no such option available to any of the beneficiaries in these countries,' says Union Health Secretary

New Delhi: There will be a gap of 28 days between two doses of COVID-19 vaccine and its effectiveness will begin 14 days after the second dose, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

Addressing a press briefing, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said vaccine effectiveness will be seen only after 14 days.

"So we urge people to keep following COVID appropriate behaviour," he said. Bhushan said there will be a gap of 28 days between two doses of COVID-19 vaccine and that people won't be given a choice on which vaccine to take.

"In many countries, more than one vaccine is being used. There is no such option available to any of the beneficiaries in these countries," said Bhushan when asked if the states and the beneficiaries will have a choice between Covaxin and Covishield

India will launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers.

India had recently granted emergency use authorisation to two vaccines, Oxford's Covishield being manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. Both vaccines, the statement from the Health Ministry said, have established safety and immunogenicity.

Dr V K Paul member, NITI Aayog member, said these two vaccines have been tested in thousands of people, they are the safest and there is no risk of any significance.

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

Bhushan said that as said earlier, there will be a sequential rollout of COVID-19 vaccination.

"Healthcare workers (approximately one crore) will be on the top priority, followed by frontline workers (approximately 2 crore) and prioritized age groups (approximately 27 crore). The cost of healthcare workers and frontline workers will be borne by the central government," Bhushan said.

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