COVID-19 vaccination will be voluntary: Health ministry



Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 will be voluntary, the Union Health Ministry has said, while underlining that the vaccine introduced in India will be as effective as any vaccine developed by other countries.

The ministry further stated that it was advisable to receive a complete schedule of the anti-coronavirus vaccine irrespective of a history of infection with COVID-19, as this will help in developing a strong immune response against the disease.

It also said that protective level of antibodies develop two weeks after receiving the second dose.

‘Vaccination for COVID-19 is voluntary. However, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of the vaccine for protecting one-self 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 response to a question on if it is mandatory to take the shot.

On why healthcare providers and frontline workers are being chosen for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, the ministry said the government has prioritised the most at risk/high-risk groups which will get the vaccine first.

Healthcare providers have led the battle against COVID-19 from the front. The government wants them to continue their work, without the fear of risk associated with the virus.

‘Therefore, healthcare and frontline workers are among the first group of people to be vaccinated,’’ it said.

Six vaccines- one developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR, second one developed by Zydus Cadila, third one by Gennova, Oxford vaccine, trial of which is conducted by Serum Institute of India, Sputnik V vaccine which is being manufactured by Dr Reddy’s Lab, Hyderabad, in collaboration with Russia’s Gamaleya National Centre and the sixth one manufactured by Biological E Ltd, Hyderabad, in collaboration with MIT, USA are undergoing clinical trials in India. (PTI)

(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh