New Delhi: India’s drug regulator on Sunday approved Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country. “After adequate examination, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has decided to accept the recommendations of the Expert Committee and accordingly, vaccines of M/s Serum and M/s Bharat Biotech are being approved for restricted use in emergency situation,” DCGI Dr V G Somani told a press conference today.Also Read - India Reports Cases of Omicron Variant, Two Test Positive in Karnataka

Reacting to the announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that this will accelerate the process for India to become a COVID-free nation. In a series of tweets after the DCGI’s presser, PM Modi said it will make every Indian proud that both the vaccines are made in India. “This shows the eagerness of our scientific community to fulfill the dream of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, at the root of which is care and compassion,” he said, congratulating the nation, scientists, and innovators. Also Read - Uttar Pradesh Lockdown: Section 144 Extended in Noida Till Dec 31; Malls, Gyms to Function at 50% Capacity. Full List of Guidelines Here

Take a look at some frequently asked questions here: Also Read - Uttar Pradesh: Yogi Govt Issues Guidelines for All Travellers Amid Omicron Scare | Details Here

So who will get the vaccine first? 

The govt has selected the priority groups who will be vaccinated on priority as they are at higher risk. The first group includes healthcare workers because they are at high risk of contracting the infection and protecting them helps to sustain essential health services. The vaccination of frontline workers will help in reducing the societal and economic impact by reducing COVID19 mortalities.

The next group to receive COVID 19 vaccine will be persons over 50 years of age and persons under 50 years with comorbid conditions because there is high mortality in this category. The reason for including more than 50 years of the age group for vaccination is that it will be able to cover 78% of persons having co-morbidities and thereby reduce mortality on account of COVID19.

More than 50 years of age group is divided into two subgroups. One subgroup is 60 years and above, they will be vaccinated first. The second subgroup is between 50 to 60 years of age group, they will be vaccinated after the first sub-group is covered. The vaccination may not be sequential. It can go in parallel for all beneficiaries depending on the availability of the vaccine.

Where will you get vaccinated?

The centre has allocated vaccine sites for different priority groups:

Fixed session site: Government and private health facilities where a medical officer or a doctor is present is known as a fixed session site.

Outreach session site: Schools, community halls are defined as outreach session site.

Special mobile teams: There will be special mobile teams for remote areas or migratory population and international border areas.  District administrations have been asked to plan these teams as part of the operational plan.

How can you register for the vaccine?

The Health Ministry has introduced CoWIN, a digital platform for real-time monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine delivery which includes a mobile application where users will be able to self-register to get vaccinated.

One can register themselves on it if they want the vaccine. There are five modules in the yet to be launched CoWIN app — administrator module, registration module, vaccination module, beneficiary acknowledgement module and report module.

Follow these steps to register for the vaccine: 

Self-register on the CoWIN Website

Upload government photo identity or do an AADHAAR authentication via biometrics, OTP or demographic.

Date and time will be allocated for vaccination

Only pre-registered beneficiaries will be allowed to proceed for the vaccination.

What about the possible side-effects from COVID-19 vaccine?

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 masses.

“Vaccines are 110 per cent safe. Some side effects like mild fever, pain and allergy are common for every vaccine. It (rumours of impotency) is absolute nonsense,” news agency ANI quoted Somani, Drug Controller General of India as saying.