COVID-19 vaccine rollout FAQs: Pros & cons and more

Made in India vaccines Covaxin and Covishield were launched for emergency usage on January 16, 2020. The vaccines were rolled out, and more than 3.81 lakh people have been vaccinated against the deadly disease COVID-19. However, 580 cases emerged possessing adverse side effects. Two people also died but the Union Minister said it is not because of the vaccine.

Covaxin has been made by Bharat Bitoch and Covishield by Serum Institute of India. Bharat Biotech released a “fact sheet” on 18 January detailing the risks and benefits of its vaccine. The Hyderabad-based company declared that its vaccine was yet to go under Phase 3 clinical trials.

Today, the Serum Institute of India also put out a similar release with FAQs and declared that the recipients of its vaccine should disclose certain health information to doctors before taking its dose. Also, people allergic to any of the ingredients of the Covishield are advised not to take the vaccine.

On January 3, the country’s drug regulator approved both the vaccines for distribution, named Covaxin and Covishield. In the first phase of the vaccination drive, the government plans to inoculate 3 crore frontline workers, by July 2021. The government has purchased 5.5 million doses of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech and 11 million doses of Covishield from the Serum Institute of India.

Bharat Biotech and SII strictly advised their beneficiaries that those who have any allergies, fever, a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner, are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system or any other serious health-related issues should inform the vaccination first and then, further the situation proceeds. Moreover, pregnant and breast-feeding women are advised the same. Also, those who have already taken a vaccine for the Coronavirus before should not go for a second attempt.

“There is no scientific information yet available of the appropriateness of use of Covaxin along with other vaccines,” said Bharat Bitoch and SII. They added that there might be mild side effects are receiving the vaccines, for example, breathing difficulty, swollen face and throat, increased heart-beat, rashes, nausea, headache, muscle pain, dizziness and extreme weakness.

“Individuals who are prioritised under the public health program of the ministry of health and family welfare will be covered under this endeavour. Informing the individuals about the offer for a vaccination with Covaxin will rest with the respective government program officials. Those offered Covaxin at pre-specified booths will have the options to receive or reject administration of the vaccine,” declared the fact sheet released by Bharat Biotech.

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