As the world's largest vaccination drive is underway in India, there are a lot of people who are unable to decide whether or not they should take the jab. One of the biggest reasons behind the skepticism is a trove of misinformation clouding the judgment. Fret not. Here are answers to all your questions and doubts you might have about COVID-19.
Before we get there, here's a bit of advice for those who have got vaccinated. It is important to continue taking all precautions such as washing hands, wearing face mask, and maintaining social distance. That said, if you're still on the fence about getting the jab, here are the top FAQs you must read.
COVID-19 vaccine FAQs answered
Q. Is a COVID vaccine scheduled anytime soon?
A. The COVID vaccine was launched on 16th January 2021. The first group includes healthcare and frontline workers. The second group to receive COVID-19 vaccine will be persons over 50 years of age and persons under 50 years with comorbid conditions.
Q. Is it mandatory to take the vaccine?
A. 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 and also to limit the spread of this disease to close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers.
Q. Will the vaccine be safe as it is being tested and introduced in a short span of time?
A. Vaccines will be introduced in the country only after the regulatory bodies clear it based on its safety and efficacy.
Q. Is it necessary for a COVID recovered person to take the vaccine?
A. Yes, it is advisable to receive a complete schedule of COVID vaccine irrespective of past history of infection with COVID-19. This will help in developing a strong immune response against the disease.
Q. Out of the multiple vaccines available, how is one or more vaccine chosen for administration?
A. 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 licenses 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.
Q. Will the vaccine introduced in India be as effective as the ones introduced in other countries?
A. Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine introduced in India will be as effective as any vaccine developed by other countries. Various phases of vaccine trials are undertaken to ensure its safety and efficacy.
Q. If one is taking medicines for illnesses like Cancer, Diabetes, Hypertension etc, can s/he take the COVID-19 vaccine?
A. Yes. Persons with one or more of these comorbid conditions are considered high risk category. They need to get COVID-19 vaccination.
Q. What about the possible side-effects from COVID-19 vaccine?
A. COVID 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. 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 the masses.