On Friday morning, India hit the one crore (ten million) mark of total Covid-19 cases. Following the United States' approval of Moderna mRNA Covid vaccine earlier Saturday and Pfizer's counterpart the week before, there have been questions about a possible vaccine rollout in India, and whether it would be made mandatory.
The Ministry of Family Health and Welfare (MFHW) put out a document answering some of the main questions about vaccinations in India. Here is all you need to know.
1. The MFHW on Thursday clarified that the Covid-19 vaccine can be taken on a "voluntary" basis if and when it gets approved, adding that it is "advisable" to get the shot. "Vaccination for Covid-19 is voluntary. However, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of Covid-19 vaccine for protecting oneself against this disease and also to limit the spread of this disease to the close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers," the ministry said in a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
2. Those who have already gotten the virus and recovered from it are also advised to take the shot, as it would help the individual's immunity, the ministry said, adding that those who were Covid-19 positive would have to isolate themselves for a 14-day period before attending the vaccination camp.
The ministry identified health care and front-line workers as "priority groups" to receive the vaccine, and also said that those above 50 years of age could be included in the list depending on the availability of the vaccine.
3. Registrations would have to be done online and would require citizens to upload a document of any government-issued photo ID, which they would have to produce at the site of immunisation.
4. "Photo ID is a must for both registration and verification of beneficiary at session site to ensure that the intended person is vaccinated." Driving License, Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour, MGNREGA Job Card, Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs, PAN Card, Passbooks issued by Bank/Post Office, Passport, Pension Document, Service Identity Card issued to employees by Central/State Govt./Public Limited Companies, Voter ID are among the listed documents.
5. The details regarding the date and venue of the vaccination camp would be conveyed via SMS to the beneficiary's registered phone number, they stated.
6. The two doses of the Covid-19 jab would be administered 28 days apart and antibodies develop two weeks after receiving the second dose, the ministry estimated.