Coronavirus vaccine beneficiaries aged between 18 and 44 years, who will be eligible to get their jabs from May 1, will be allowed to choose the vaccine they want at private centres.
The private vaccination centres will have to make public the COVID-19 vaccine variants available with them and their respective prices so that the beneficiaries can pick the one they prefer, reported News18.
Earlier, during phase one and phase two of India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive, beneficiaries did not have the option to choose the coronavirus vaccine they want.
RS Sharma, Chairperson, empowered committee on COVID-19 vaccination, and head of CoWin platform, said on April 29: “The government centres will continue to vaccinate beneficiaries with whatever vaccines they are getting. And obviously, if they are giving the second dose, they will also have to ensure that the second dose is of the same vaccine as the first dose. Private centres (where people will pay for the jabs) will declare which vaccines they are using and what are the prices of those vaccines.”
He added that the COVID-19 vaccine options available at the private vaccination centres and their prices will be displayed on the CoWin portal itself.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Till April 30, only healthcare and frontline workers and people aged above 45 years will be eligible to get their vaccine shot. From May 1, it will be opened up for all persons aged 18 years and above.
However, most states, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Punjab have declared that they will not be able to start vaccination for the 18-44 years age group due to a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines.Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here