New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has formally approved Bharat Biotech COVID-19 vaccine 'Covaxin' and Oxford-AstraZeneca's 'Covishield' for "restricted emergency use", paving the way to launch the world's biggest immunisation drive against COVID-19.

The DCGI has informed that the two vaccines have been approved only after a detailed inspection about their safety and effectiveness. It further said that Covaxin and Covishield will be administered in two dosages.

With DCGI approval, the central government will soon launch its massive vaccination drive that will cover almost as many people as the entire population of the United States of America (USA). The Centre has already informed that vaccines will be provided for free of cost to beneficiaries in the first phase but noted that it will not be mandatory for people vaccine shots.

Who will be administered in the first phase of the vaccination drive?

In the first phase of vaccination drive, doctors, nurses, health care workers, policemen, soldiers, volunteers and vulnerable people with "serious comorbidities" will be administered a coronavirus vaccine.

Also Read -- Covishield, Covaxin get DCGI's approval: All you need to know about the efficacy, cost, and developers of 2 vaccines

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has identified nearly 3 crore such people who will get a vaccine shot in the first phase.

What will be the cost of coronavirus vaccines?

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has already cleared that the coronavirus vaccine will be provided for free of cost to most beneficiaries in the first phase of the vaccination drive.

Are there any sides effects of COVID-19 vaccines?

The DCGI has dismissed rumours of side effects of COVID-19 vaccines, saying Covaxin and Covishield are absolutely safe and effective.

"We'll never approve anything if there is slightest of safety concern. The vaccines are 100 per cent safe. Some side effects like mild fever, pain and allergy are common for every vaccine. It (people may get impotent) is absolute rubbish," DCGI's Dr V G Somani has said.

How will the government vaccinate the people?

As per the standard operating procedures (SOPs) released by the Health Ministry, 100 to 200 people will be vaccinated per session per day. They will also be monitored for 30 minutes after administering the shots for any adverse event.

Here it is noteworthy to mention that a person will have to register himself or herself to get vaccine shot. There will be no provision for on-the-spot registrations.

"There may not be vaccine vial monitors (VVM) and Date of Expiry on the label of COVID-19 vaccine, this should not discourage vaccinators from using the vaccine. At the end of the session, the vaccine carrier with all ice packs and unopened vaccine vials should be sent back to the distributing cold chain point," the guidelines read.

How can I register myself for vaccination?

You can register yourself COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) app for vaccination.

Vaccination drive to be based on the election process

Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has also said that the vaccination drive will be similar to the election process planned down to the booth level. He also said that around 96,000 vaccinators have been trained for the vaccination drive so far.

The same process of identification and lineup can easily be replicated here (for the vaccine drive). Of course, the administration of the vaccine itself will have to be done by people who are trained for that," K Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India, has said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma