Covid vaccination voluntary, those already infected can also get the jab

Government has assured that a vaccine will be introduced only when the safety is proven.
Recovered from Covid-19? You will still be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine. Also, getting vaccinated for the virus will not be mandatory and will instead be left to the individual’s choice.

While making this clear through a detailed frequently-asked-questions document, the health ministry, however, advised people to get a complete schedule of the vaccine to develop a strong immune response irrespective of any past history of infection. This is also important to limit the spread of the disease among close contacts, including family, friends and co-workers, the ministry said.

It also addressed issues such as can a person taking medicines for cancer, diabetes or hypertension take the vaccine. “Persons with one or more of these comorbid conditions are considered to be in the high risk category. They need to get Covid -19 vaccination.” 

A person who has or suspects he or she has Covid-19 will have to wait for 14 days after the symptoms are over to get vaccinated to avoid the risk of spreading the virus to others at the vaccination site, the health ministry said.

Two doses of the vaccine, 28 days apart, need to be taken to complete the vaccination schedule. Protective levels of antibodies generally develop two weeks after receiving the second dose, according to the ministry.

The government has also assured that a vaccine will be introduced only when the safety is proven. “As is true for other vaccines, the common side effects in some individuals could be mild fever, pain, etc at the site of injection,” the health ministry said.

States have been asked to start making arrangements to deal with any Covid-19 vaccine-related side effects as one of the measures towards safe vaccine delivery among masses.

As a preventive measure, those getting the jab will be asked to rest at the vaccination centre for at least half an hour after receiving the vaccine. The health ministry has advised individuals to inform the nearest health authorities, auxiliary nurses, midwives or ASHA workers in case they feel any discomfort or uneasiness.

In the initial phase, the vaccine will be provided to 30 million individuals including the priority group — health care and front-line workers. Vaccination of the 50-plus age group may also begin early depending on availability.

For vaccination, online registration is mandatory. Thereafter, eligible beneficiaries will be informed on their registered mobile number about the nearest vaccination facility, and the date and time of vaccination. A government recognised photo identification will have to be produced at the time of registration.

After all doses of vaccine are administered, a QR code-based certificate will also be sent to the beneficiary’s registered mobile number.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Is it mandatory to take the Covid-19 vaccine?

No, it is voluntary. But it is advised that a person receives the full schedule of the vaccine

Can a person who has had Covid-19 infection be vaccinated?

Yes, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of the vaccine irrespective of past infection. But infected persons should get vaccinated after 14 days of the symptoms ending

How will I know if I am eligible?

The vaccine will be initially given to health and front-line workers; 50-plus age group may also get it early. Beneficiaries will be informed of the schedule on their mobile number after they register

What documents are needed to register?

Any of the following IDs with photo: driving licence, Health Insurance Smart Card issued by the Ministry of Labour, MGNREGA job card, official ID cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs, PAN card, bank/post office passbooks, passport, pension document, ID cards issued to employees of central/state government and public firms, voter ID

How many doses will be given?

Two doses, 28 days apart

When would antibodies develop?

Generally two weeks after receiving the second dose

Can a person with comorbid conditions take the vaccine?

Yes, they are considered a high-risk category



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