Dr Harsh Vardhan led Union Health Ministry has said that the vaccination for COVID-19 will be voluntary in the recently released document to answer public queries in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs), reports Hindustan Times.
However, while stating that the vaccination will be voluntary, the ministry has also emphasised that it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of COVID-19 vaccine for protecting oneself against this disease, and also to limit the spread to the close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers.
The government has also said that even if one has already recovered from the disease, it is advisable to receive a complete schedule of COVID-19 vaccine, given this will help in developing a strong immune response against the disease.
This comes at a time when the government's drugs regulator is examining the safety and efficacy data from clinical trials of three vaccine candidates which have applied to it for an emergency use authorisation (EUA).
These candidates include Serum Institute of India which has requested an EUA for the Covishield vaccine, Bharat Biotech for the Covaxin vaccine, and Pfizer's vaccine which has already been approved for use in several nations including the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK).
The government has already begun the preparations to initiate the first phase of vaccination for the priority group which includes people who are at higher risk. The first set will include healthcare and frontline workers, followed by persons over 50 years of age and persons under 50 years with comorbid conditions such as hypertensive, diabetic, people with chronic liver and kidney disease.
The eligible beneficiaries will be informed through their registered mobile number regarding the health facility where the vaccination will be provided and the scheduled time for vaccination. Upon vaccination, they will receive a text on their registered mobile number, informing about completion of the process. A QR code-based certificate will also be sent to the registered mobile number of the beneficiary.
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