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India’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
In India, there are two vaccines that have been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India — Covishield and COVAXIN. These two vaccines are being produced in large numbers to be able to vaccinate the entire Indian population against the Novel Coronavirus. The government aims to vaccinate 300 million people by July.
The Covishield vaccine was created by the University of Oxford, together with AstraZeneca, and is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India for Indian residents. COVAXIN, on the other hand, is India’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine developed in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
1.1 crore vials of Covishield and 55 lakh vials of COVAXIN have been ordered by the Government of India. These have been assigned to the different centres in each state and Union Territory. On January 16, 2021, Day 1 of the nationwide COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, close to two lakh healthcare workers were vaccinated.
Over the past month or two, India has seen a dip in the number of new cases per day. On January 18, 2021, India recorded 13,788 new cases. This is significantly low compared to our highest record of 97,894 new cases on September 17, 2020. This significant lowering of our numbers indicates that we are closer now to flattening the curve than ever before.
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COVID-19 Statistics in India (as of 18.01.2021)
The first case of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu was reported on 7 March 2020. Tamil Nadu has the fourth highest number of confirmed cases in India after Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. All 37 districts of the state are affected by the pandemic, with capital district Chennai being the worst affected.
What’s normal after the COVID vaccination
While the COVID-19 vaccination is safe, you may experience some side effects after the administration of the vaccine. These are quite normal and are signs that your body is building protection against the virus. Here’s what you can expect after the vaccinations but these symptoms should go away in a few days.
- Pain at the injection site
- Swelling at the injection site
What’s abnormal after the COVID vaccination
An adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) is any abnormal medical occurrence following immunisation. This adverse event may be in the form of:
- unintended sign (abscess after vaccination)
- abnormal laboratory findings (thrombocytopenia following measles vaccination)
- symptom or disease (disseminated BCG infection following BCG vaccination
Minor AEFI: These are common self-limiting reactions. For example, pain and swelling at injection site, fever, tiredness and so on
Severe AEFI: These can be disabling reactions but rarely life-threatening. They do not lead to long-term problems. For example, high fever (>102 degrees, non-hospitalised cases of anaphylaxis) and so on
Serious AEFI: These reactions can result in persistent or significant disability, evoke significant parental/community concern, requires inpatient hospitalisation and often results in death
Who will get the vaccine in Phase I
As there are only a limited doses of both vaccines available at the moment for Phase I, here is the order of priority of who will receive the vaccine first while more is being created for Phase II.