Published: 13th January 2021
What the FAQ: Can you choose your vaccine, which one is better? All you need to know before the big day
Here's a lowdown on the most frequently asked questions in the past few weeks in a lead up to India's COVID-19 vaccination drive
As we head towards the mass rollout of COVID-19 vaccines on January 16 across the country, there are a plethora of questions that are cropping up in people's minds. All states have begun strategising for the massive vaccination drive that India will witness on January 16. However, just days ahead of such a historical event, people want to know more — how do we get the vaccines, what are the prices, which is better, are they safe and some other crucial questions. Here's a lowdown on the most frequently asked questions in the past few weeks in the lead up to the vaccination drive.
How to register for the Coronavirus vaccine?
Ans: You cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine if you directly visit your local hospitals. You need to pre-register online through CoWin app, which has not been released to the public yet. To register yourselves, it is necessary to upload any of your government-issued photo identity proof — Aadhaar, PAN, driving license or any other suitable document.
Can we choose our vaccine?
Ans: Unfortunately, no, you cannot. When the rollout begins on January 16, people would not have a choice between the two available vaccines for the Coronavirus — Covishield and Covaxin, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Covishield VS Covaxin, which is better?
Ans: This might be a tricky question as both have proven to be effective and safe during their trials. Covishield uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector, which basically means it is based on a weakened version of a common cold virus, known as the adenovirus. The vaccine also has the genetic material of the COVID-19 virus spike protein. Covaxin is an inactive version of the novel Coronavirus, which will then produce an immune response in a person's body if and when the Coronavirus attacks them.
What is the cost of the vaccine?
Ans: The Oxford-AstraZenenca COVID vaccine, named Covishield in India will be Rs 200 per dose, however, this price has been finalised only for the first 1.1 crore doses provided to the Central Government. Bharat Biotech's Covaxin is priced at Rs 206 per dose for the first 55 lakh doses available to the government.
How many doses will the vaccines be administered in?
Ans: Both the vaccines will be administered in two doses and they are to be taken at an interval of 28 days to complete the entire process of COVID-19 vaccination.
Are the vaccines safe?
Ans: Member (Health) Niti Aayog Dr VK Paul has stated that both Covaxin and Covishield are safe to be administered. "They have been tested on thousands of people and the side-effects are negligible. All the vaccines in the world used currently against COVID-19 have been cleared under the emergency-use framework. As we go ahead, we will have more options. India has also been able to get these vaccines at very competitive prices," he had said, according to various reports.