Covid vaccination to be voluntary in India

According to the Union Health Ministry, Covid vaccination will be voluntary in India. It also emphasized that the vaccine launched in India will be no inferior to any vaccine developed by other countries. Apart from this, the ministry advised to get a complete schedule of the anti-coronavirus vaccine regardless of past history of infection with COVID-19. This is likely to help in developing a strong immune response against the disease. Further, it also stated that protective level of antibodies usually develops two weeks after getting the second dose. According to the ministry, vaccine trials are under various phases of finalisation.

There are overall six vaccines developed by various firms in India. In association with ICMR, Bharat Biotech is developing the vaccine. Apart from this, Zydus Cadila is also developing the vaccine. Third firm developing the vaccine is Gennova. Then comes Oxford vaccine. Its trial is being conducted by Serum Institute of India. Then comes Sputnik V being made by Dr Reddy’s Lab, Hyderabad in association with Russia’s Gamaleya National Centre. The sixth vaccine is being produced by Biological E Ltd, Hyderabad, in partnership with MIT, USA that is going through clinical trials in India.

According to the ministry, vaccines will be introduced in the country only after the regulatory authorities clear it based on its safety and efficacy. The ministry has asked to begin making arrangements to deal with any vaccine-related side-effects as one of the measures towards safe vaccine delivery. According to the ministry, people consuming medicines for illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, hypertension etc, can take the COVID-19 vaccine. This is because persons with one or more of these comorbid situations are thought to be at high-risk category and they require vaccination.

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