The government indicated on Tuesday that for the time being, recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine would not have the choice to choose between the two vaccines recently approved for restricted emergency use in India.
In response to a press conference question, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, “At many places in the world, more than one vaccine are being administered, but presently, in no country, vaccine recipients have the option of choosing the shots.”
India has recently approved two virus vaccines for restricted emergency use—Covishield, Oxford University, and Covaxin, Bharat Biotech.
Mr. Bhushan said that there would be a 28-day difference between the two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and that its efficacy can only be seen after 14 days.
“So we urge people to keep following COVID appropriate behaviour,” he said.
India will begin its COVID-19 vaccination campaign from 16 January with the priority to be given to nearly three primary health care staff and frontline workers.
Mr Bhushan said 54.72 lakh of the entire stock of COVID-19 vaccine doses ordered so far were received by the designated national and state-level vaccine stores till Tuesday afternoon, with the coronavirus inoculation drive set to begin from Saturday.
He said all the orders — 1.1 crore doses of Covishield from the Serum Institute of India and 55 lakh doses of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech — will be received by January 14.