Centre sends list of dos and don'ts on Covaxin, Covishield to states
New Delhi, Jan 16: The Centre on Thursday conveyed a list of dos and don'ts to the states. On Day 1 of the inoculation drive, around 3 lakh healthcare workers will be administered the vaccine across 3,006 sites of the country.
The letter, from Additional Secretary Dr Manohar Agnani to the states, also included a comparative sheet for both the vaccines - Covishield and Covaxin - which contains information on vaccine platform, dosage, storage requirements, side effects etc.
As per the directions, vaccine will be administered only to those who are above 18 years of age. Women who are pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy and lactating mothers should not receive the vaccine, the Centre said in the letter.
The rulebook also said that interchangeability of the two vaccines is not allowed. "Second dose should also be of the same COVID-19 vaccine which was administered as the first dose," it said.
Recently, the DGCA granted emergency use authorisation to two vaccines, Oxford's Covishield being manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. Both vaccines, the statement from the Health Ministry said, have established safety and immunogenicity.
The government also said that there will be a gap of 28 days between two doses of COVID-19 vaccine and its effectiveness will begin 14 days after the second dose.
Here is a list of guidelines issued by the Centre:
a. The vaccination is allowed only for those who are above the age of 18 years.
b. Women who are pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy should not receive the vaccine.
c. Lactating mothers should not receive the vaccine.
d. Interchangeability of vaccine is not permitted i.e, the second dose of the vaccine should also be of the same vaccine manufacturer as the first.
e. The second does of vaccine should be administered at a gap of 28 days from the first.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched India's vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus. A record 3 lakh healthcare workers across the country are scheduled to get vaccinated on the first day across 3,006 vaccination sites.
"I request you not to make the mistake of taking off the mask and not maintaining social distancing after getting the first dose because immunity develops after the second dose," PM Modi said.
"Such a vaccination drive at such a massive scale was never conducted in history. There are over 100 countries having less than 3 crore population & India is administering vaccination to 3 crore people in first phase only. In second phase, we've to take this number to 30 crores," PM added.
PM Modi further went on to say that this disease kept people away from their families. "The mothers cried for their children and had to stay away. People could not meet their elderly admitted at hospitals. We could not bid adieu to those with proper rituals who died due to COVID," PM Modi said.
Vaccination will have to be deferred for four to eight weeks after recovery of patients with active Covid symptoms, those who have been given plasma therapy, and those who are unwell and hospitalised for any other reason.
The vaccination programme will use Co-WIN, an online digital platform developed by Union Health Ministry, which will facilitate real-time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries for COVID-19 vaccine.
This digital platform will assist programme managers across all levels while conducting vaccination sessions, the PMO said.
A dedicated 24x7 call centre - 1075 - has also been established for addressing the queries related to COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine rollout and the Co-WIN software.