On a day when the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) provided details of the nationwide vaccination campaign that will begin on Saturday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan took to Twitter to debunk vaccine myths.
India’s drug regulator has granted approval to two vaccines-Covishield developed by the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech Covaxin-which will be administered to 30 million health and frontline staff in the first step of vaccination.
Vardhan answered some questions about vaccines, saying that there is no empirical evidence to show that they can induce infertility in men or women. In a series of tweets, he also addressed questions about side effects and how to catch Covid-19 even after being vaccinated.
Vardhan used insightful tweets, along with illustrations, to allay people’s concerns before vaccination started-
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that #COVIDVaccine could cause infertility in either men or women. Kindly do not pay heed to such rumours or information from unverified sources.#StayInformedStaySafe @PMOIndia @MoHFW_INDIA pic.twitter.com/6ii2EFgpB0
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 14, 2021
On a question about the possibility of catching Covid-19 from the vaccine, Vardhan wrote, “You can’t catch Covid-19 from the vaccine, but you might have caught Covid-19 and don’t know that you have symptoms until after your vaccination appointment.
Concerned about the side effects of vaccines, the health minister said that certain individuals may have symptoms such as mild fever, discomfort at the injection site, and body aches, but they are supposed to go away after some time.
This will be the world’s largest vaccination campaign covering the entire length and breadth of the country and all arrangements are in place to launch the ‘Jan Bhagidari’ principles programme, the PMO said in a statement.
A total of 3.006 session sites across all states and UTs will be virtually interconnected during the launch and approximately 100 recipients will be vaccinated at each session site on the first day, according to the announcement.
The vaccination program will use Co-WIN, an online data platform developed by the Ministry of Health of the Union, to facilitate real-time information on vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualized monitoring of recipients of the Covid-19 vaccine.