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As the country gears up to fight another wave of COVID-19 infections, the Government of India in the current phase has made COVID vaccinations available for all adults aged above 45 years from 1st April, 2021. Additionally, the government has sent out a circular which advises eligible companies to set up workplace vaccination drives. While this news is readily available to everyone, there are always a few doubts and questions regarding such important matters.
Below are a few more of the most frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccination process:
Taking into account the recent surge of cases, from 11th April, 2021, the government began with vaccinations for those above the age of 45 years. Now, from 1st May, 2021, citizens above 18 years of age will be eligible for the vaccine as well.
The government's initial goal was to vaccinate citizens who were at the highest risk of infection. However, when the recent second wave of COVID-19 shook the world, it was decided that it is in every legal adult's best interest to be vaccinated at the earliest, in an effort to curb the spread of the infection across age groups.
Children below the age of 18 years, pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding their child, women who are not sure if they are pregnant at the particular time of vaccination.
As stated by the circular, a sizeable chunk of the working population of the country is aged 45+ years, and are at a higher risk of infection than their younger colleagues once the workplaces reopen. Vaccinations at the workplace will help these professionals feel at ease.
Such centres have been launched across states/Union Territories from 11th April, 2021. The government mentions that it has asked the relevant state authorities to discuss the details with the employers and management of both government and private sector enterprises in preparation to launch the vaccination drive.
Offices having 100+ willing and eligible employees can set up their on-site vaccination centres. This rule has been put in place to reduce wastage and optimize the supply of vaccines to the sites.
A District Task Force (DTF) chaired by the District Magistrate of the concerned state and an Urban Task Force (UTF) chaired by the Municipal Commissioner are the deciding authorities. A senior staff member will be chosen by each eligible company to be the Nodal officer.
The Nodal Officer will be the intermediary between the company, the government authorities and the vaccination team. The officer will also facilitate the entire process of vaccination at the site such as the registration of beneficiaries and making sure physical & IT infrastructure are operational.
Each office centre will be put in contact with health professionals and registered clinics close to the centre, and the drive will be conducted by these trained medical professionals. This is to ensure the employees' safety and to make sure the correct procedures and protocols are followed during the vaccination drive.
No relatives, regardless of their own eligibility, cannot take the vaccine at the office sites. The notification states "no outsiders including eligible family members will be allowed for vaccination at CVC (COVID Vaccination Centre) at Work Place'"
As is the common practice for now, all eligible beneficiaries can register through the government's CoWIN platform. This process will be overseen by the chosen Nodal Officer. Additionally, on-the-spot registration facilities will also be made available for eligible employees of the company.
Yes, all eligible companies have to register on the CoWIN platform as well. The name of the company must not be abbreviated, so that clarity is maintained. Vaccination sites should consist of three aspects: Waiting rooms, Vaccination areas and Observation rooms. These could either be set up in pre-existing permanent structures, or other stable structures such as enclosed shelters could be created. However, temporary tents and camps are not allowed.
Yes, the choice to take the vaccine remains with the person/employee.
No, the choice of vaccine brand is not available at this time. All vaccines are subject to the availability of supplies.
Frontline workers, people with chronic conditions, and people above the age of 60 years.
He/she may still get infected, but severe illness is prevented.
Due to the risk of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection, they may transmit the virus. That’s the reason for the need to continue social distancing and the usage of face masks.
No, this is not the case.
People on any blood thinning medication should be cautious.
Yes, the person can take the vaccine 8 weeks after recovery.
No, if there is a chance for pregnancy, it is better not to get the vaccine until you are sure that you are not pregnant.
An appropriate dose of Paracetamol can be taken to alleviate mild symptoms.
COVAXIN and COVISHIELD are the two brands currently being used in COVID vaccination in India.
The dosage pattern followed is - 2 doses 4 weeks apart for COVAXIN, and 2 doses 6 to 8 weeks apart for COVISHIELD.