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Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine in India

UR

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Starting May 1st, all Indians above 18 years of age are eligible for the vaccine. Registrations open from April 28th on the Co-WIN portal and the Aarogya Setu app. Walk-ins are also allowed at vaccination centres, but on-site registration is undertaken before vaccination.

Where to get it:
Vaccines are available at designated government and private health facilities notified as COVID Vaccination centres. The whole list, along with Pincode search, is available on Co-WIN portal. Few of the facilities are free of cost but some charge a pre-mandated Rs.250/vaccination. As per latest government notification, from May 1st, COVID vaccines will be made available in open markets also. But the pricing of the vaccines will be revealed by individual vaccine manufacturers.

Types of vaccines available:
As per MoHFW website, there are currently 2 vaccines which are granted emergency use authorization as per Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) in India. Those are:
1. COVISHIELD: Developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and being manufactured by Serum Institute of India(SII), Pune.
2. COVAXIN: Developed by ICMR and NIV, Pune and being manufactured by Bharat Biotech, Hyderabad.

Advice from experts:
“Avoid anything that may decrease your immunity such as alcohol intake before and after the vaccine. Also, check with your doctor if you have any risk for bleeding tendency or low platelets. You can take a mild pain killer like acetaminophen after the vaccine if you have any discomfort,” says Dr Sai Praveen Haranath, Consultant Intensivist and Pulmonologist, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding check with your doctor to evaluate the benefits and the risks of the vaccine. MoHFW recommends a 14-day gap between other vaccines and COVID-19 vaccine to better manage the side effects. It also advises against the interchangeability of the COVID-19 vaccine. The second dose of the vaccine should be the same as the first dose.

Process on the day of vaccination:
Please reach the vaccination centre at the allotted time. Carry AADHAR Card or any government-approved ID Card. Also carry the mobile phone used for registration or AADHAR seeded mobile in case of walk-in.

Both COVAXIN and COVISHEILD are available in an injection format. Designated medical professionals give an injection on the arm for vaccination. Post the vaccination, it is recommended to sit at the vaccination site for at least 30-45 minutes. Do alert the nurses if you experience any discomfort or uneasiness at the centre.

The certificate:
After the first shot, a provisional certificate with probable next vaccine date will be provided. And after the second vaccination, a message confirming the completion of schedule and a link for digital certificate will be sent to the registered mobile number.

Care for the injection site:
Light pain might be felt at the injection site for a day. The application of a cold pack can help soreness and pain. Move your arm frequently to prevent stiffness. If pain persists for 24 hours, seek medical help.

Adverse reactions to watch for:
Normal side effects include mild fever, fatigue, nausea and headache which can be controlled by paracetamol, usually within 48 hours. Severe allergic reactions to COVID-19 such as acute breathlessness, chest pain or swelling in the legs should be treated by a doctor.

Starting May 1st, all Indians above 18 years of age are eligible for the vaccine. Registrations open from April 28th on the Co-WIN portal and the Aarogya Setu app. Walk-ins are also allowed at vaccination centres, but on-site registration is undertaken before vaccination.

Where to Get the Covid-19 Vaccine In India?

Vaccines are available at designated government and private health facilities notified as COVID Vaccination centres. The whole list, along with Pincode search, is available on Co-WIN portal. Few of the facilities are free of cost but some charge a pre-mandated Rs.250/vaccination. As per latest government notification, from May 1st, COVID vaccines will be made available in open markets also. But the pricing of the vaccines will be revealed by individual vaccine manufacturers.

Types of Covid-19 Vaccines available In India

As per MoHFW website, there are currently 2 vaccines which are granted emergency use authorization as per Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) in India. Those are:

  • COVISHIELD: Developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and being manufactured by Serum Institute of India(SII), Pune.
  • COVAXIN: Developed by ICMR and NIV, Pune and being manufactured by Bharat Biotech, Hyderabad.

Expert Advice on Covid-19 Vaccine

“Avoid anything that may decrease your immunity such as alcohol intake before and after the vaccine. Also, check with your doctor if you have any risk for bleeding tendency or low platelets. You can take a mild pain killer like acetaminophen after the vaccine if you have any discomfort,” says Dr Sai Praveen Haranath, Consultant Intensivist and Pulmonologist, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding check with your doctor to evaluate the benefits and the risks of the vaccine. MoHFW recommends a 14-day gap between other vaccines and COVID-19 vaccine to better manage the side effects. It also advises against the interchangeability of the COVID-19 vaccine. The second dose of the vaccine should be the same as the first dose.

The Covid-19 Vaccination Process

Please reach the vaccination centre at the allotted time. Carry AADHAR Card or any government-approved ID Card. Also carry the mobile phone used for registration or AADHAR seeded mobile in case of walk-in.

Both COVAXIN and COVISHEILD are available in an injection format. Designated medical professionals give an injection on the arm for vaccination. Post the vaccination, it is recommended to sit at the vaccination site for at least 30-45 minutes. Do alert the nurses if you experience any discomfort or uneasiness at the centre.

Covid-19 Vaccination Certificate

After the first shot, a provisional certificate with probable next vaccine date will be provided. And after the second vaccination, a message confirming the completion of schedule and a link for digital certificate will be sent to the registered mobile number.

Getting the vaccine is safer than getting the virus.

Care for the injection site:

Light pain might be felt at the injection site for a day. The application of a cold pack can help soreness and pain. Move your arm frequently to prevent stiffness. If pain persists for 24 hours, seek medical help.

Wellness advice from qualified experts

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Adverse reactions to watch for:

Normal side effects include mild fever, fatigue, nausea and headache which can be controlled by paracetamol, usually within 48 hours. Severe allergic reactions to COVID-19 such as acute breathlessness, chest pain or swelling in the legs should be treated by a doctor.