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COVID-19 vaccine FAQs: Can you choose your vaccine, what will be the cost and other questions answered

Registration can be done only using the CoWin app. However, the app is yet to be released in the public domain.

January 13, 2021 / 07:18 AM IST
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Representational Image

The mass rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in India will begin from January 16. The country, with the second-highest population in the world, is bracing for one of the largest vaccination drives. With the inoculation process set to begin, an array of questions are bound to emerge among the end-consumers. Here are some of your FAQs answered.

 

Where can I get the vaccine?

You cannot get the vaccine by directly approaching the designated hospitals or medical centres. To get vaccinated, one has to register themselves online.

How to register for vaccination?

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

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.

How many types of vaccines are there?

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.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

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.

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Registration can be done only using the CoWin app. However, the app is yet to be released in public domain. Once the app gets released, it could be downloaded from Google Play Store and Apple App Store.The beneficiaries need to mandatorily upload any one of the government-issued photo ID cards which includes Aadhaar, PAN, driving license and others while registering themselves.

Can I choose my vaccine?

No, the government is not providing any choice as of now."In many countries, more than one vaccine is being used. There is no such option available to any of the beneficiaries in these countries," Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

What will be the cost?

Rs 200 per dose for Covishield, but the price is fixed only for the first 1.1 crore doses supplied to the government.Similarly, the first 55 lakh doses of Covaxin, procured by the government from Bharat Biotech, would cost Rs 206 per dose.

Is it mandatory to take the vaccine?

Vaccination for COVID-19 is voluntary. However, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of the COVID-19 vaccine for protecting oneself against this disease.

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

No. Such a person has to defer his vaccination by at least 14 days.

Can a person get the COVID-19 vaccine without registration with Health Department?

No. One can be vaccinated only after registering himself through CoWin App.

Is it necessary for a COVID recovered person to take the vaccine?

Yes, it is advisable for a person who has recovered from COVID-19 to take the vaccine as antibodies he/she may have developed may not last for a long period.

Facemasks, social distancing necessary after receiving the vaccine shot?

Yes, it is necessary to maintain COVID-19 safety norms even after being vaccinated."The inoculation effect takes 14 days to develop after the administration of the two dosages. Hence it is imperative to maintain COVID appropriate behavior," Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in the latest press briefing.

Are the vaccines safe?

Yes, the vaccines have been proven safe. The Health Ministry has noted that both Covaxin and Covishield have recorded negligible cases of side-effects.

When will vaccination begin for non-priority groups?

Only after the government completes the inoculation of healthcare, frontline workers, senior citizens and those with comorbidities. The Health Ministry aims to vaccinate a population of nearly 30 crore by July.

Is it compulsory to take two doses of the vaccine?

Yes, both the vaccines approved in India are based on the two-dose regimen. Both shots are to be taken at the interval of 28 days to complete the vaccination.

Can cancer, diabetes, and hypertension patients also take the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, they are included in the priority group. Those with comorbidities would be vaccinated at the earliest.
Mohammed Shaikh

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