While India fearfully anticipates a second wave of the virus brought on by the cold, the country still remains second on the list of countries with the highest number of infections, right behind the United States of America.
Ever since the United Kingdom began rolling out its vaccination drive of the Pfizer vaccine to its citizens beginning on the 8th of December, several other countries have received the EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) for several different vaccines.
India has seen nearly 10million cases and around 144,000 deaths from the coronavirus so far; and so, despite the spread of the disease has slowed down slightly since mid-September, news of vaccines in the country comes as a glimmer of hope.
About how and when the vaccinations are likely to begin, officials say that it is estimated that around 300 million Indians will be vaccinated between the months of January and August. It will begin with vaccinating 10 million healthcare workers, followed by other frontline workers like municipal workers, policemen, soldiers etc. Next in line for eligibility would be citizens above 50 years of age and then people below the age of 50 suffering from any chronic illnesses.
On Friday, the Union Health Ministry announced that the vaccine is not compulsory, due to several peoples’ concerns over its side effects. The ministry also promised that the vaccine developed by India will be just as effective as the ones made by other countries and that it is advisable to take the full two doses of the vaccine as this will help in building immunity against the disease. It has been said that it will take around 2 weeks after the vaccine for the body to produce antibodies and for the vaccine to take full effect in the system.
The distribution drive of the vaccine in the country will take place for over a year, and the states and union territories will form a three-tier system as per the directions of the Central government.
The Ministry has listed down a series of FAQs and has cleared certain doubts surrounding the vaccine and its procedures.