No Choice on Which Covid Vaccine You Want to Take: Health Secretary of India
GUWAHATI: In India, two vaccines have received approval as Covid Vaccines - Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca Plc and Bharat Biotech International’s Covaxin, which it has developed with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). However, vaccine recipients will not be given a choice between the two.
Both these vaccines have been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI), although Covaxin
is still in Phase 3 trials.
“Several countries in the world are using more than one Covid-19 vaccine to inoculate their citizens. In none of these countries are beneficiaries being offered an option of choosing which vaccine to take,” said Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
Vaccine recipients will get two doses of the vaccine 4 weeks apart.
Dr Balram Bhargava, director general of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has stated, “The current recommendations are very clear that it will be given at day zero and at day 28, four weeks apart, and as has been pointed out, the effect will come after two weeks. At the moment we are just considering 0 to 28 days, and we would like to focus on that.”
Both Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech have stockpiled enough vials to meet the initial demand in the country, which will immunize 30-million health-care and front line workers. After that, the government will look into vaccinating 270 million people aged above 50 and those with co-morbidities.
Meanwhile, the country is gearing up for the launch of vaccination drive across the country on January 16.
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