India will now began administration of COVID-19 vaccines for everyone above 18 years of age from 1st may 2021.
As of April 2021, 13 vaccines are authorized by at least one national regulatory authority for public use:
In total, as of March 2021, 308 vaccine candidates are in various stages of development, with 73 in clinical research, including 24 in Phase I trials, 33 in Phase I–II trials, and 16 in Phase III development.
Two vaccines received approval for emergency use in India at the onset of the program, including Covishield (a version of the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India), and Covaxin (developed by Bharat Biotech). In April 2021, Sputnik V was approved as a third vaccine, with deployment expected to begin by late-May 2021.
Covishield Side-effects: Some mild symptoms that may occur include
In very rare cases, neurological complications (demyelinating disorders) have been reported following vaccination with this vaccine
Covaxin Side-effects: Some immediate symptoms that may occur include
No other vaccine-related serious adverse effects have been reported.
According to the current guidelines, anyone above 45 years of age should get vaccinated without fail. But, from 1st May 2021, every person above 18 years of age should be vaccinated.
1. Follow COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) such as:
If you experience minor side-effects such as pain or discomfort post-vaccination, taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as paracetamol and painkillers after consultation with a doctor is advised.
You can even apply a cold cloth over the site of injection or exercise your arm to reduce pain and discomfort. Drink loads of fluids and dress lightly to reduce discomfort from fever.
3. If you are under self-isolation, waiting for the COVID-19 test results or are ill on the date of the vaccination or have symptoms of COVID-19, cancel your appointment. You can reschedule your appointment after 4-8 weeks of recovery from COVID symptoms.
Make sure to take the second dose of the vaccine without fail. Also ensure, the second dose is the same as the first administered dose. For example, if your first vaccine dose is Covishield, then take Covishield in the second dose as well. Do not take Covaxin during the second dose and vice-versa. So if you are taking your first dose, then don’t forget to ask your vaccinator about the type of vaccine.
How to register for Covid-19 vaccination via CoWIN portal / App
Keynotes to remember, when going for COVID vaccination -
Register on the Co-WIN Portal and schedule your vaccination appointment. https://www.cowin.gov.in/home
Vaccines are available from Government and Private Health Facilities as notified, known as COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs)
Online registration and appointment can be done through Co-WIN portal. You will have to give some basic information about yourself and details of your photo identification card to get yourself registered online. From one mobile phone number, one can register 4 people, however, each person will need their own photo identification document. If Aadhar card is used as identification document, consent will be obtained and recorded. Through the portal, you can find out the list of available CVCs and dates and time of available vaccination slots, to book an appointment as per your choice. You will need an OTP verification prior to registration and a confirmation slip/token will be generated after registration. You will also get a confirmatory sms later. For all Private Hospitals, prior registration and appointment will be the only method of registration. For Government hospitals, a proportion of slots will be available for online registration and appointment, the rest will be kept for on site registration and vaccination. Appointments for any date for a Vaccination Center will be closed at 12:00 pm on the day prior to the date.
Those who cannot get themselves registered online can contact their local Government health workers, who will help the beneficiaries to the Government CVC for on the spot registration, appointment, verification and vaccination on the same day. Please ask your nearest Governmen health care worker to guide you about the nearest Government CVC where COVID vaccination will be available and the days of the week when this will be available. You need to carry your mobile phone and a photo identification document to get yourself vaccinated. The workers in the Government CVC will help you to register on the spot, get appointment and get vaccinated on the same day.
No, the registration of beneficiary is mandatory for vaccination for COVID-19 vaccine. Once registered, notification and information about the vaccine session date and time will be shared with the beneficiary. There will be a provision for walk-in to vaccination centres but they too would need to register on site before vaccination.
Any of the below mentioned ID with Photo may be produced at the time of registration: Aadhaar Card Driving License Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Job Card Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs PAN Card Passbooks issued by Bank/Post Office Passport Pension Document Service Identity Card issued to employees by Central/ State Govt./ Public Limited Companies Voter ID People with comorbidities will have to carry the certificate of comorbidities, in the format shared here by a registered medical practitioner.
Photo ID is a must for both registration and verification of beneficiary at session site to ensure that the intended person is vaccinated.
Following online registration, beneficiary will receive SMS on their registered mobile number about the due date, place and time of vaccination.
Yes. On getting due dose of COVID-19 vaccine, the beneficiary will receive SMS on their registered mobile number. After all doses of vaccine are administered, a QR code based certificate will also be sent to the registered mobile number of the beneficiary.
Yes, a provisional certificate would be provided after the first dose. On completion of second dose, when you receive the message for completion of schedule it would include a link to download digital certificate of vaccination for your perusal. This certificate can be then be saved in the digi-locker.
Two vaccines that have been granted emergency use authorization by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) in India are Covishield® (AstraZeneca's vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin® (manufactured by Bharat Biotech Limited).
Both the Indian COVID-19 vaccines have completed their Phase I & II trials. Covishield® has completed its Phase III trials in UK and the bridging trial in India.
Vaccine trial phases includes:- Pre-clinical: Vaccine development in laboratory animals Phase 1 Clinical trial (small number of participants): Assess vaccine safety, immune response and determine right dosage (short duration) Phase 2 Clinical trial (few hundred participants): Assess safety and the ability of the vaccine to generate an immune response (short duration) Phase 3 Clinical trial (thousands of participants): Determine vaccine effectiveness against the disease and safety in a larger group of people (duration 1-2 years)
COVID-19 affects all age groups; however, morbidity & mortality is several times higher in adults particularly in those above the age of 50 years. Children have either asymptomatic or mild infection. The general practice is to first evaluate any new vaccine in older population and then age reduction is done to assess the safety and effectiveness in paediatric population. The currently available vaccines have not been evaluated in children so far. There are some clinical trials now underway to test the effectiveness and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in children.
Composition of Covishield includes inactivated adenovirus with segments of Coronavirus, Aluminium Hydroxide Gel, L-Histidine, L-Histidine Hydrochloride Monohydrate, Magnesium Chloride Hexahydrate, Polysorbate 80, Ethanol, Sucrose, Sodium Chloride, and Disodium Edetate Dihydrate (EDTA). Composition of Covaxin includes inactivated Coronavirus, Aluminum Hydroxide Gel, TLR 7/8 Agonist, 2-Phenoxyethanol and Phosphate Buffered Saline [NKA1].
The people at highest risk of exposure such as health care and frontline workers will receive the vaccine on priority. These personnel are also likely source of infection of their family members. Other family members will be vaccinated according to the age specific prioritization by the Government of India.
Yes, Covishield® vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, is based on the same patent technology as the Astrazeneca vaccine.
The time interval between two doses of the Covishield vaccine has been extended from four-six weeks to four-eight weeks. The second dose of Covaxin can be taken four to six weeks after the first.
The vaccine will be supplied to various parts of India as per availability and distribution plan, beneficiaries load and so at present the option of choice of vaccine is not available.
Vaccination for COVID-19 is voluntary. However, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of COVID-19 vaccine for protecting oneself against this disease and also to limit the spread of this disease to the close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers.
Vaccines will be introduced in the country only after the regulatory bodies clear it based on its safety and efficacy.
Based on the potential availability of vaccines the Government of India has selected the priority groups who will be vaccinated on priority as they are at higher risk. The first group includes healthcare and frontline workers. The second group to receive COVID-19 vaccine will be persons over 60 years of age and persons between 45 and 59 years of age with comorbid conditions.
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.
Yes, it is advisable to receive complete schedule of COVID-19 vaccine irrespective of past history of infection with COVID-19. This will help in developing a strong immune response against the disease. Development of immunity or duration of protection after COVID-19 exposure is not established therefore it is recommended to receive vaccine even after COVID-19 infection. Wait for 4-8 weeks after recovery from COVID symptoms before getting the vaccine.
In the initial phase, COVID-19 vaccine will be provided to the priority group - Health Care and Front-line workers. The second phase vaccinations, starting March 1, 2021 will allow for all Indians above the age of 60 and Indians between the age of 45 and 59 with comorbidities to be vaccinationated. Registrations will be allowed on the Co-WIN 2.0 Portal, Aarogya Setu app etc. The comorbidities that make a person eligible for vaccinations are listed below: Heart Failure with hospital admission in past one year Post Cardiac Transplant/Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Significant Left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVEF <40%) Moderate or Severe Valvular Heart Disease Congenital heart disease with severe PAH or Idiopathic PAH Coronary Artery Disease with past CABG/PTCA/MI AND Hypertension/Diabetes on treatment Angina AND Hypertension/Diabetes on treatment CT/MRI documented stroke AND Hypertension/Diabetes on treatment Pulmonary Artery Hypertension AND Hypertension/Diabetes on treatment Diabetes (> 10 years OR with complications) AND Hypertension on treatment Kidney/ Liver/ Hematopoietic stem cell transplant: Recipient/On wait-list End Stage Kidney Disease on haemodialysis/ CAPD Current prolonged use of oral corticosteroids/ immunosuppressant medications Decompensated cirrhosis Severe respiratory disease with hospitalizations in last two years/FEV1 <50% Lymphoma/ Leukaemia/ Myeloma Diagnosis of any solid cancer on or after 1st July 2020 OR currently on any cancer therapy Sickle Cell Disease/ Bone marrow failure/ Aplastic Anemia/ Thalassemia Major Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases/ HIV infection Persons with disabilities due to Intellectual disabilities/ Muscular Dystrophy/ Acid attack with involvement of respiratory system/ Persons with disabilities having high support needs/ Multiple disabilities including deaf-blindness
Contraindication Persons with history of: Anaphylactic or allergic reaction to a previous dose of COVID-19 vaccine Immediate or delayed-onset anaphylaxis or allergic reaction to vaccines or injectable therapies, pharmaceutical products, food-items etc. Pregnancy & Lactation: Pregnant & Lactating women have not been part of any COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial so far. Therefore, women who are pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy; and lactating women should not receive COVID-19 vaccine at this time Provisional / temporary contraindications: In these conditions, COVID-19 vaccination is to be deferred for 4-8 weeks after recovery Persons having active symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection. SARS-COV-2 patients who have been given anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma Acutely unwell and hospitalized (with or without intensive care) patients due to any illness.
Immune issues are of two types: one, immunosuppression due to any disease such as AIDS, and people on immunosuppressant drugs such as anti-cancer drugs, steroids, etc. Second, immunodeficiency in people who suffers from some defect in the body's protective system such as congenital immunodeficiency. Currently, available COVID-19 vaccines do not have any live virus and therefore individuals with immune issues can have the vaccine safely. But the vaccine may not be as effective in them. One should inform the vaccinator about the medicines they consume and if they are suffering from any known immune issues. The vaccinator should have a record of one’s medical condition.
The safety and efficacy data from clinical trials of vaccine candidates are examined by Drug regulator of our country before granting the license for the same. Hence, all the COVID-19 vaccines that receive license will have comparable safety and efficacy. However, it must be ensured that the entire schedule of vaccination is completed by only one type of vaccine as different COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable.
India runs one of the largest Immunization programme in the world, catering to the vaccination needs of more than 26 million newborns and 29 million pregnant women. The programme mechanisms are being strengthened/geared up to effectively cater to the country’s large and diverse population.
We request you to rest at the vaccination centre for atleast half an hour after taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Inform the nearest health authorities/ANM/ASHA in case you feel any discomfort or uneasiness subsequently. Remember to continue following key COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviours like wearing of mask, maintaining hand sanitization and physical distance (or 6 feet or Do Gaj).
The way we do in a clinical trial phase: first, the recipient will be asked to give a written consent. Additionally, the recipient will be followed up actively to see if the vaccine has led to any side effects. In short, it will be an extension of the Phase 3 trial. But in this, the person would know that he or she has received the vaccine, and not the placebo. It is completely voluntary.
To ensure that a vaccine is safe, we need to try it on a large number of people. The vaccine developers have not reduced the sample size at any stage of clinical trials rather it was bigger than what we usually test a vaccine on. When a vaccine is tested, most of the adverse events or unwanted effects, if any, occur in the first four to six weeks of its administration. So, in order to ensure that it is safe, we keep a close watch, for the first two-three months, on the people it has been given to. This data help us decide if a vaccine is safe. All concerned in the line of vaccine development, testing and evaluation have followed these procedures to the T. Both Indian vaccines are considered safe on this yardstick. As for the efficacy of the vaccine, we need time to tell how effective a vaccine is. All the global agencies have set the benchmark that only those vaccine candidates which show an efficacy of at least 50-60% will be considered. Most of the vaccines have shown an efficacy of 70-90% within the short period of two to three months of observation. Besides when a vaccine is given an emergency use authorizations/permission for restricted use, as in the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, the trial follow-up continues for one-two years to assess the total duration of protection the vaccine will provide.
There is no head-to-head comparison done between the two vaccines being used in India so one cannot choose one over the other. Both would work fine in preventing the infection as well as prevent a person from going into severe state of the disease. As a long-term effect, it would be preventing death for elderly people or those who have comorbidities.
Currently, there is no such instruction. One can take one’s regular medication uninterruptedly. Just inform the vaccinator about the medicines you consume.
Chronic diseases and morbidities like the cardiac, neurological, pulmonary, metabolic, renal and malignancies etc. are not contraindicated. In fact, the benefit of COVID-19 vaccines to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 disease and death is for those who have these comorbidities.
Yes, it is absolutely necessary that everyone who has received the COVID-19 vaccine should continue to follow the COVID-19 appropriate behaviour i.e., mask, do gaj ki doori and hand sanitization to protect themselves and those around from spreading the infection.
Longevity of the immune response in vaccinated individuals is yet to be determined. Hence, continuing the use of masks, handwashing, physical distancing and other COVID-19 appropriate behaviours is strongly recommended.
The body responds to vaccination by making more than one type of antibodies to virus parts including spike protein. Therefore, all vaccines are expected to provide reasonable amount of protection against the mutated virus also. Based on the available data the mutations as reported are unlikely to make the vaccine ineffective.
Adequate immune response takes 2-3 weeks after completion of entire vaccination schedule i.e., after the second dose of COVISHIELD® and COVAXIN®.
Both the vaccines are safe but in case of any discomfort or complaint, ask the beneficiary to visit the nearest health facility and/or call the health worker whose phone number is given in the Co-WIN SMS received after vaccination.
As the vaccines available are not interchangeable, it is important to receive the second dose of same vaccine as the first one. The Co-WIN portal is also going to help to ensure that everyone receives the same vaccine.
When an increasing number of people get vaccinated in the community, indirect protection through herd immunity develops. The percentage of people who need to be immune in order to achieve herd immunity varies with each disease. For example, its 95% for measles, however the proportion of the population that must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to begin inducing herd immunity is not known.