The world's biggest vaccination drive against COVID-19 commenced in India from Saturday, (January 16). In Kerala, the vaccination on Day-1 is being carried out at 133 centres across all the 14 districts till 5pm. While vaccination began at 10.30 am on the inaugural day, on other days it will start at 9am.
Here we explain a few pertinent points about the vaccination. It may help you to clear a few doubts about the all-important healthcare campaign.
Who will be given the COVID-19 vaccine first in Kerala?
Only healthcare professionals will be given the vaccine initially. In all, 3,68,866 healthcare workers from the government and private sectors have registered for the vaccine in the first phase in the state.
Will the vaccine be given only to ‘allopathy doctors’ among healthcare workers?
No, that will not be the case. The vaccine will be given to doctors, nurses, medical students and other healthcare personnel from all medical fields, including Ayurveda and Homeopathy.
How many vaccination centres are in Kerala? Can one get vaccinated at a centre that is the most convenient?
In all 133 vaccination centres have been put up across the state. Here vaccination will be conducted from 9 am to 5 pm. Each centre will vaccinate 100 people in a day. Healthcare workers who have registered for the vaccination will receive a message on their mobile giving details of when and to which centre they will have to go to get vaccinated. At the vaccination centre one must produce any government-approved identification proof.
Where on the body will the vaccine be administered?
It will be injected on the left shoulder.
Can people who have received other vaccines take the COVID vaccine?
There won't be any issues as such if one has taken a vaccine for any other disease. However, side-effects, as may happen during any vaccination, cannot be ruled out. Only in rare cases one may develop any complications. All care is taken to ensure one is safe and secure.
Will the vaccine be given to people of all ages?
The Centre has instructed that people below the age of 18 and pregnant women should be excluded from the vaccination drive currently.
Should one rest or control diet after vaccination?
After vaccination, a person will be kept under observation at the centre for half-an-hour. After that, there will be no restriction on travelling and working. The vaccine-recipient may continue with their usual diet.
Will one dose of the vaccine be sufficient?
It is advised to take two doses of the prescribed vaccine. The second dose will be given 28 days after the first one. One need not register in advance for the second dose. However, one will have to report to the vaccination centre as mentioned in the message that will be sent in advance.
Will a syringe used to vaccinate one person be used on others as well?
No. Auto-disable syringes — syringes that get disabled after single use — will be used for the vaccination.
Is there a specific temperature at which the vaccine should be stored? How will one know if the vaccine is not stored at the recommended temperature?
The vaccine is to be stored in the temperature range of 2 to 8 degree Celsius. If there is any change in the stored temperature, it will be visible in the metre outside the box in which the vaccine is stored. If there is any deviation from the recommended temperature, then all the vaccine doses from that box will be completely discarded. However, no such incident has been reported from Kerala so far since the vaccine stock arrived a few days ago. The state has good storage facilities.