FAQ COVID-19 Vaccine (India)2021-10-15T23:58:38+05:30

All citizens aged 18 years and above are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in India.

Source: COWIN App FAQ

A. Persons with history of:

  • Anaphylactic or allergic reaction to a previous dose of COVID-19 vaccine
  • Immediate or delayed-onset anaphylaxis or allergic reaction to vaccines or injectable therapies, pharmaceutical products, food-items etc.

B. Pregnant women: Regarding COVID-19 Vaccination of pregnant women, the matter is under discussion in India. Pregnant women have not been part of any COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial so far. Therefore, women who are pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy; should not receive COVID-19 vaccine at this time

C. Provisional / temporary contraindications: In these conditions, COVID-19 vaccination is to be deferred after recovery

  • Individuals having lab test proven SARS-2 COVID-19 infection: COVID-19 vaccine to be deferred by 3 months after recovery.
  • SARS-2 COVID-19 patients who have been given anti-SARS-2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma: COVID-19 vaccine to be deferred by 3 months from the date of discharge from the hospital.
  • Individuals who have received at least the 1 st  dose and got COVID-19 infection before completion of the dosing schedule: the 2 nd  dose should defer the COVID-19 vaccine by 3 months after clinical recovery from COVID-19 illness.
  • Persons with any other serious general illness requiring hospitalization or ICU care should also wait for 4-8 weeks before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

D. Other health Conditions :

  • Individuals with bleeding disorders like ‘haemophilia’ should take the vaccine under the supervision of their treating physician.
  • Individuals with heart and brain disorders are on blood thinners like aspirin and antiplatelet drugs can continue with their medicines and have the vaccines. They should also consult their physician. For them, vaccines are absolutely safe.
  • One should inform the vaccinator about the medicines they consume and if they are suffering from any known immune issues. The vaccinator should have a record of one’s medical condition.
Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
Source: pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1719925

Vaccination Centres provide for a limited number of on-spot registration slots every day. Citizens aged 45 years and above can schedule appointments online or walk-in to vaccination centres. However, Citizens aged 18-44 years should mandatorily register themselves and schedule appointments online before going to the vaccination centre for a hassle-free vaccination experience.

Source: COWIN App FAQ

You should carry your identity proof specified by you at the time of registration on the Co-WIN portal and a printout/screenshot of your appointment slip.

Source: COWIN App FAQ

Vaccination for COVID-19 is voluntary. However, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of COVID-19 vaccine for protecting one-self against COVID-19 infection. The COVID-19 vaccine will also limit the spread of the infection to close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers.

Source: mohfw.gov.in/pdf/FAQsonCOVID19VaccineDecember2020.pdf

No, you will not get penalized if you don’t take COVID-19 vaccine. However, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of COVID-19 vaccine for protecting one-self against this disease and also to limit the spread of this disease to close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers.

At the time of scheduling an appointment on COWIN app, the app will show the name of vaccine being administered at each vaccination centre. Citizens can choose the vaccination centre as per their choice of vaccine being administered. However, the choice will not be available at the Government facilities. As of now, centres have “Covishield”/ “Covaxin” available. Both work fine in preventing the infection as well as prevents an individual from severe illness due to COVID-19 infection.

Source: COWIN App FAQ

Currently door to door service for vaccination is not available. Vaccines are available at Government and Private Health Facilities as notified, known as COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs).

Source: mohfw.gov.in/covid_vaccination/vaccination/faqs.html

Citizens aged 45 years and above can schedule appointments online or walk-in to vaccination centres. However, Citizens aged 18-44 years should mandatorily register themselves and schedule appointment online before going to vaccination centre.

Source: COWIN App FAQ

  • For citizens aged 45 years and above the vaccination is free at Government hospitals and charged at INR 250 in Private hospitals.
  • For people between 18 to 44 years the States will announce the policy relating to payment. Vaccination will be priced by private facilities and you can see the price of each vaccine below the name of the vaccination centre at the time of scheduling an appointment.
Source: COWIN App FAQ

We request you to wait at the vaccination centre for at least half an hour after taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Inform the nearest health authorities / ANM / ASHA in case you feel any discomfort or uneasiness subsequently. Remember to continue following key COVID Appropriate Behaviours like wearing of mask, maintaining hand sanitization and physical distance (or 6 feet or Do Gaj).

Source: MyGov, India

Two vaccines have been approved for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) by the National Regulator i.e. Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). These are “Covishield” manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) and “Covaxin” manufactured by Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL). Several other vaccines are at various stages of clinical development within the country. The National Regulator grants Permission for Restricted Use in Emergency Situations to Sputnik-V vaccine.

Source: pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1711342

Vaccines can prevent infectious diseases. Vaccines do prevent measles, polio, hepatitis B, influenza and many others. When most people in a community are protected by vaccination, the ability of the pathogen to spread is limited. This is called ‘herd’ or ‘indirect’ or ‘population’ immunity. When many people have immunity, this also indirectly protects people who cannot be vaccinated, such as those who have compromised immune systems.

Source: who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/risk-comms-updates/update45-vaccines-developement.pdf
  • A vaccine is basically a training session for the immune system. Vaccines teach the immune system to look for the key features of a virus. So, when a virus does show up, it’s ready to fight it off. 
  • The vaccine gives your body a plan to recognize the virus. Then your immune system starts preparing by making antibodies, or fighter cells, that stay in your blood as protection in case the virus tries to invade. What this means is you get immunity against the disease, without having to get sick first.
  • When enough people’s bodies know how to fight off a virus it has nowhere to go. That slows the spread. When people get a vaccine, we’re able to stop the spread quicker……and get a little closer to ending this pandemic.
Source: coronavirus.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2020-11/DOH%20Vaccine_2_RadioScripts_English_Spanish.pdf

Adequate immune response takes 2-3 weeks after completion of entire vaccination schedule i.e., after the second dose of COVISHIELD® and COVAXIN®.

Source: mohfw.gov.in/covid_vaccination/vaccination/faqs.html
  • Covishield® vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, is a Viral Vector based Technology which is also used to manufacture Ebola vaccine.Composition of Covishield includes inactivated adenovirus with segments of Corona Virus, Aluminium Hydroxide Gel, L-Histidine, L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, Polysorbate 80, Ethanol, Sucrose, Sodium chloride, and Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA).
  • Covaxin® vaccine, manufactured by the Bharat Biotech, is a whole-Virion Inactivated Corona Virus Vaccine which is also used to manufacture vaccines like Influenza, Rabies and HepatitisA. Composition of Covaxin includes inactivated Corona Virus, Aluminum Hydroxide Gel, TLR 7/8 agonist, 2-Phenoxyethanol and Phosphate Buffered Saline[NKA1].

Which one is better: There is no head-to-head comparison done between the two vaccines being used in India so one cannot choose one over the another. Both would work fine in preventing the infection as well as prevent a person from going into severe state of the disease. As a long-term effect, it would be preventing death for elderly people or those who have co-morbidities.

Source: mohfw.gov.in/pdf/FAQsforHCWs&FLWs.pdf

There are many different COVID-19 vaccines in development using different technologies because it is not yet known which ones will be effective and safe. Based on experience, roughly 7% of vaccines in preclinical studies succeed. Candidates that reach clinical trials have about a 20% chance of succeeding. Different vaccine types may be needed for different population groups. For example, some vaccines may work in older persons and some may not, as the immune system weakens with older age. Several vaccines are needed to allow countries with as much vaccine as possible to increase the supply. Not everyone will be able to be vaccinated right away because of limited supply. It is important that the initial supplies of vaccine are given to people in a fair, ethical, and transparent way.

Source: who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/risk-comms-updates/update45-vaccines-developement.pdf
Intramuscular injection is the recommended route for all COVID-19 vaccines. The recommended site to administer an intramuscular injection to an adult is the deltoid muscle.

Source: COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs for Healthcare Professionals
cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/hcp/faq.html#schedule
cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/admin/downloads/IM-Injection-adult.pdf
cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/admin/downloads/IM-Injection-children.pdf
If the deltoid muscle cannot be used or accessed, the vastus lateralis muscle of the anterolateral thigh can be used.
cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/hcp/faq.html#schedule
Yes, you should still be vaccinated because you can become infected more than once. Although you may have some short-term natural protection (known as immunity) after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection will last. Vaccination is the best protection, and it is safe. People who get COVID-19 can have serious illnesses, and some have terrible symptoms that continue for months. If you have had COVID-19, ask your doctor, nurse, or clinic when you should be vaccinated.

Source: CDC Factsheet  
Pain is one of the common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine which should go away in some days. Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for any pain and discomfort you may experience after getting vaccinated. You can take these medications to relieve post-vaccination side effects if you have no other medical reasons that prevent you from taking these medications normally. It is not recommended you take these medicines before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent side effects.

Source: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html
Antibody testing is not currently recommended to assess for immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following COVID-19 vaccination because the clinical utility of post-vaccination testing has not been established. Antibody tests currently authorized under an EUAexternal icon have variable sensitivity, specificity, as well as positive and negative predictive values, and are not authorized for the assessment of immune response in vaccinated people. Furthermore, the serologic correlates of protection have not been established, and antibody testing does not evaluate the cellular immune response, which may also play a role in vaccine-mediated protection. Finally, antibody testing against nucleocapsid will not detect immune responses resulting from vaccination, but patients may not always know what type of antibody test was used. If antibody testing was performed following vaccination, additional doses of the same or different COVID-19 vaccines are not recommended based on antibody test results at this time. If antibody testing was done after the first dose of an mRNA vaccine, the vaccination series should be completed regardless of the antibody test result.

Source: cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html#Appendix-A
It is recommended that the 2nd dose of COVAXIN should be administered in the interval of 4 to 6 weeks from the date of 1st dose administration.

For COVISHIELD the recommended interval is 12-16 weeks to give an enhanced protection. You may choose the date of 2nd dose vaccination as per your convenience.

Source: pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1718308
No, you should take the vaccine as per the schedule recommended by the government authorities. It is recommended that the 2nd dose of COVAXIN should be administered in the interval of 4 to 6 weeks from the date of 1st dose administration. For COVISHIELD the recommended interval is 12-16 weeks to give an enhanced protection. You may choose the date of 2nd dose vaccination as per your convenience.

Additionally, if you are experiencing any symptoms you should immediately get yourself tested.

Source: Cowin App FAQ
No. Person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection may increase the risk of spreading the same to others at vaccination site. Those who test positive for COVID-19 should not go for vaccination for six months after recovery as per the government panel.

Source: mohfw.gov.in/covid_vaccination/vaccination/faqs.html
You can call on the national helpline ‘1075’ for information and guidance on COVID-19 vaccination and Co-WIN software related queries.

Source: Cowin App FAQ
You should first get tested , if the results are negative and you have no symptoms then you can get vaccinated. Person with suspected COVID-19 infection may increase the risk of spreading the same to others at vaccination sites.
Person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection may increase the risk of spreading the same to others at vaccination sites. For this reason, infected individuals should defer vaccination for 14 days after symptoms resolution.

You can call on the national helpline ‘1075’ for information and guidance on COVID-19 vaccination and Co-WIN software related queries.

Source: mohfw.gov.in/covid_vaccination/vaccination/faqs.html
Source: Cowin App FAQ
People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation; those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. In india, those who have received the first dose of vaccine and test positive before the second shot should wait for four to eight weeks after recovering from the infection, as per the panel.

Source: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html
Source: pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx
Some COVID-19 vaccines need two shots. The first shot gets your body ready. If you are told you need two shots, make sure that you get your second shot at the time you are told, to make sure you have full protection.

Source: CDC Factsheet
Yes, you can get vaccinated in any State/District but not in a different country. The only restriction is that you will be able to get vaccinated only on those centres which are offering the same vaccine as was administered to you on your first dose.

Source: Cowin App FAQ
As the vaccines available are not interchangeable, it is important to receive the second dose of the same vaccine as the first one. The COWIN app is also going to help to ensure that everyone receives the same vaccine.

Source: mohfw.gov.in/pdf/FAQsforHCWs&FLWs.pdf
A COVID Vaccine Certificate (CVC) issued by the government offers an assurance to the beneficiary on the vaccination, type of vaccine used, and the provisional certificate also provides the next vaccination due. It also is an evidence for the citizen to prove to any entities which may require proof of vaccination specially in case of travel. Vaccination not only protects individuals from disease, but also reduces their risk of spreading the virus. Therefore, there could be a requirement in future to produce certificates for certain kinds of social interactions and international travel.

Source: Cowin App FAQ
The safety requirements for COVID-19 vaccines are the same as for any other vaccine and will not be lowered in the context of the pandemic. Safety trials begin in the lab, with tests and research on cells and animals first, before moving on to human studies. The principle is to start small and only move to the next stage of testing if there are no safety concerns. Clinical trials are evaluating COVID-19 vaccines in tens of thousands of study participants to generate the scientific data and other information needed to determine safety and effectiveness. These clinical trials are being conducted by manufacturers according to rigorous standards. The COVID-19 vaccines are tested in a broad population of people – not only young, physically fit volunteers, but also older people and people with underlying health conditions. After deployment, the vaccines will continue to be carefully monitored for safety and effectiveness

Source: who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/risk-comms-updates/update45-vaccines-developement.pdf?sfvrsn=13098bfc_5
To ensure that a vaccine is safe, we need to try it on a large number of people. The vaccine developers have not reduced the sample size at any stage of clinical trials rather it was bigger than what we usually test a vaccine on. When a vaccine is tested, most of the adverse events or unwanted effects, if any, occur in the first four to six weeks of its administration. So, in order to ensure that it is safe, we keep a close watch, for the first two-three months, on the people it has been given to. This data help us decide if a vaccine is safe. All concerned in the line of vaccine development, testing and evaluation have followed these procedures to the T. Both Indian vaccines are considered safe on this yardstick. As for the efficacy of the vaccine, we need time to tell how effective a vaccine is. All the global agencies have set the benchmark that only those vaccine candidates which show an efficacy of at least 50-60% will be considered. Most of the vaccines have shown efficacy of 70-90% within the short period of two or three months of observation. Besides when a vaccine is given an emergency use authorizations/permission for restricted use, as in the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, the trial follow-up continues for one-two years to assess the total duration of protection the vaccine will provide.

Source: mohfw.gov.in/pdf/FAQsforHCWs&FLWs.pdf
Efficacy measures reduction in disease among vaccinated individuals. It is measured under controlled conditions for example clinical trials.Vaccine effectiveness is used when a study is carried out under typical field (that is, less than perfectly controlled) conditions.

Source: cdc.gov/csels/dsepd/ss1978/lesson3/section6.html
Research studies have shown that vaccine is safe and effective in preventing disease from Covid-19 infection for elderly population also.

Source: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/older-adults.html
Single dose of a vaccine gives 80% protection against Covid 19 infection. It takes two weeks after taking a vaccine for the body to produce antibodies to protect against infection. Those who take a single dose are considered partly vaccinated and after the second dose they are fully vaccinated.

Source: cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p0329-COVID-19-Vaccines.html
The body responds to vaccination by making more than one type of antibodies to virus parts including spike protein. Therefore, all vaccines are expected to provide a reasonable amount of protection against the mutated virus also. Based on the available data the mutations as reported are unlikely to make the vaccine ineffective.

Source: mohfw.gov.in/covid_vaccination/vaccination/faqs.html
A study has been done among health care workers and other essential workers which shows that risk of infection has reduced upto 90%  two weeks after taking a second shot. The findings of this study are consistent with the clinical trials of the vaccine before they were allowed for emergency use.

Source: cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p0329-COVID-19-Vaccines.html
Yes. Developing a vaccine generally involves years of research. First, we need a vaccine candidate that is evaluated in animals for its safety and efficacy. After a vaccine candidate passes a preclinical trial, it enters the clinical trial phase. While scientists have worked round the clock in the laboratory, even regulatory approvals which used to take several months have been fast tracked. It helped eliminate all the time lapses between the pre-clinical and clinical trial stages. Earlier, the vaccine development involved a series of steps, but in the case of the coronavirus vaccine, the scientists and regulators worked in tandem, accelerating the whole process without compromises on any protocols and any step.

Source: mohfw.gov.in/pdf/FAQsforHCWs&FLWs.pdf 
  • Covishield®: Some mild symptoms may occur like injection site tenderness, injection site pain, headache, fatigue, myalgia, malaise, pyrexia, chills and arthralgia, nausea. Very rare events of demyelinating disorders have been reported following vaccination with this vaccine but without the causal relationship establishment.
  • Covaxin®: Some mild symptoms AEFIs may occur like injection site pain, headache, fatigue, fever, body ache, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, dizziness-giddiness, tremor, sweating, cold, cough and injection site swelling. No other vaccine-related serious adverse effects have been reported.
Source: mohfw.gov.in/pdf/FAQsforHCWs&FLWs.pdf
Discomfort or pain after vaccination is common but if the side effects continues after few  days or redness and tenderness at the site where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours then it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Source: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html

Even if the individual has any comorbidity , he might only experience general side effects. Side effects are not more pronounced in people who are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease—i.e. people who are older, have comorbidities, etc.

Source: jhsph.edu/covid-19/articles/side-effects-and-covid-19-vaccines-what-to-expect.html

About 10 percent of vaccinated individuals will experience side effects similar to flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, headaches, body aches, muscle pain and fatigue. We do not anticipate that these symptoms will last long. If you experience chills, headaches, body aches, muscle pain, joint pain or fatigue within 48 hours after receiving the vaccine, these would likely be post-vaccination symptoms rather than symptoms of COVID-19 infection. Those  who experience any of these symptoms and feel well enough to come to work may return to work. Usually 24 to 48 hours, and no more than a few days. If you experience any respiratory symptoms, such as cough, shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea, these are more likely to be COVID-19-related symptoms and very unlikely due to vaccination. You should immediately isolate, and schedule COVID-19 testing.

Source: umc.edu/CoronaVirus/Vaccinations/FAQs.html#COVIDTest
Source: gavi.org/vaccineswork/side-effects-and-covid-19-vaccines-what-expect
Common side effects like pain, redness, swelling on the arm where you have got the shot or tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills,fever, nausea can be there for few days after taking vaccination.

Source: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html
In case of minor adverse effects such as injection site pain, tenderness, malaise, pyrexia, etc., paracetamol may be used to alleviate the symptoms.

Source: mohfw.gov.in/pdf/FAQsforHCWs&FLWs.pdf
It is absolutely fine if someone is not having any side effects after taking vaccination. Side effects have no link with the efficacy of vaccines.

Source: cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/hcp/answering-questions.html
COVID-19 vaccines are being tested in large clinical trials to assess their safety. However, it does take time, and more people getting vaccinated before we learn about very rare or long-term side effects. That is why safety monitoring will continue. CDC has an independent group of experts that reviews all the safety data as it comes in and provides regular safety updates. If a safety issue is detected, immediate action will take place to determine if the issue is related to the COVID-19 vaccine and determine the best course of action.

Source: ama-assn.org/system/files/2020-12/covid-19-vaccine-patient-faqs.pdf
You can contact on any of the following details:

  1. Helpline Number: +91-11-23978046 (Toll free- 1075)
  2. Technical Helpline Number: 0120-4473222
  3. Helpline Email Id: nvoc2019@gov.in

You may also contact the Vaccination Centre where you took vaccination, for advice.

Source: Cowin App FAQ

Overall, the vaccine is safe and efficacious in adults with comorbidity. The maximum benefit of getting the COVID vaccine is for those who have such co-morbidities. However, if you are concerned for any specific reason, please consult your doctor.

Source: mohfw.gov.in/pdf/FAQsforHCWs&FLWs.pdf

People with mild cold-like symptoms are not prevented from getting the vaccine. However, if they are not feeling well, their symptoms just started, or their symptoms are getting worse, they may want to delay vaccination until they feel better; otherwise, they might not be able to tell the effects of illness from those of the vaccine. If they are uncertain, they should speak to their doctor, who has the benefit of their medical history and will be in the best position to help them weigh the potential pros and cons.

Source: chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/making-vaccines/prevent-covid
  • If you had a severe allergic reaction—also known as anaphylaxis—after getting the first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, CDC recommends that you not get a second shot of that vaccine. An allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen© or if they must go to the hospital.

Source: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/allergic-reaction.html

  • You should not get the Covishield vaccine if you: a) Had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine b) Had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine
  • The COVISHIELD™ Vaccine includes the following ingredients: L-Histidine, L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, Polysorbate 80, Ethanol, Sucrose, Sodium chloride, Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA), Water for injection

Source: seruminstitute.com/pdf/covishield_fact_sheet.pdf

  • You should not get COVAXIN if you: Had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredients of the vaccine. Had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine.
  • COVAXIN includes the following ingredients: COVAXIN contains 6µg of whole-virion inactivated SARSCoV-2 antigen (Strain: NIV-2020-770), and the other inactive ingredients such as aluminum hydroxide gel (250 µg), TLR 7/8 agonist (imidazoquinolinone) 15 µg, 2-phenoxyethanol 2.5 mg, and phosphate ® buffer saline up to 0.5 ml. The vaccine (COVAXIN ) thus has been developed by using inactivated/killed viruses along with the aforementioned chemicals.

Source: bharatbiotech.com/images/covaxin/covaxin-fact-sheet.pdf

  • Additionally, individuals with a history of anaphylactic or allergic reaction to a previous dose of COVID-19 vaccine  or immediate or delayed-onset anaphylaxis or allergic reaction to vaccines or injectable therapies, pharmaceutical products, food-items should avoid taking the vaccine and consult the doctor.

Source: mohfw.gov.in/covid_vaccination/vaccination/faqs.html

Immune issues are of two types:

  • Immunosuppression due to any disease such as AIDS, and people on immunosuppressant drugs such as anti-cancer drugs, steroids, etc.
  • Immunodeficiency in people who suffers from some defect in the body’s protective system such as congenital immunodeficiency.Currently, available COVID-19 vaccines do not have any live virus and therefore individuals with immune issues can have the vaccine safely. But the vaccine may not be as effective in them. One should inform the vaccinator about the medicines they consume and if they are suffering from any known immune issues. The vaccinator should have a record of one’s medical condition.

mohfw.gov.in/covid_vaccination/vaccination/faqs.html

There are a few bleeding disorders like ‘haemophilia’. These persons should take the vaccine under the supervision of their treating physician. Patients who are admitted in hospital or ICU and have bleeding problems should delay the vaccination till they are discharged. However, several people with heart and brain disorders are on blood thinners like aspirin and antiplatelet drugs. They can continue with their medicines and have the vaccines. For them, vaccines are absolutely safe.

Source: mohfw.gov.in/covid_vaccination/vaccination/faqs.html

Currently, in India individuals above the age of 18 years will be given COVID-19 vaccine.

There are no medicines or pills proven to prevent coronavirus infection in any person.Only recently, a few vaccines are available, which mainly protect against disease. At present, the vaccines are approved for use in adults only. The best way to protect children is to continue to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviors:

  • Always maintain a physical distance and stay home as much as possible, unless going for medical treatment or urgent supplies.
  • Wear masks when you are outside, and make sure the face mask is covering your nose. Children above two years of age can also wear a mask.
  • Continually wash hands with soap, or use a 70 per cent sanitizer, making sure the whole surface of the hands is covered.
  • Get vaccinated – everyone above 18 years of age is eligible.
  • Avoid attending public functions, avoid social gatherings, and avoid group play
  • Discuss, demonstrate, and reiterate the importance of COVID-19 Appropriate Behavior (CAB) with your children.
Source: unicef.org/india/coronavirus/covid-19/covid-19-and-children

COVID-19 affects all age groups; however, morbidity & mortality is several times higher in adults particularly in those above the age of 50 years. Children have either asymptomatic or mild infection. The general practice is to first evaluate any new vaccine in the older population and then age reduction is done to assess the safety and effectiveness in the paediatric population. The currently available vaccines have not been evaluated in children so far. There are some clinical trials now underway to test the effectiveness and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in children.

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
Pregnant & Lactating women have not been part of any COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial so far. Therefore, women who are pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy; and lactating women should not receive COVID-19 vaccine at this time.

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines. Like all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects now and will continue to study them for many years.

Source: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html
Currently, there is no such instruction. One can take one’s regular medication uninterruptedly. Just inform the vaccinator about the medicines you consume.

Source: mohfw.gov.in/covid_vaccination/vaccination/faqs.html
Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for any pain and discomfort you may experience after getting vaccinated. You can take these medications to relieve post-vaccination side effects if you have no other medical reasons that prevent you from taking these medications normally.

Source: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html

For most people, it is not recommended to avoid, discontinue, or delay medications for underlying medical conditions around the time of COVID-19 vaccination. However, your healthcare provider should talk to you about what is currently known and not known about the effectiveness of getting a COVID-19 vaccine when taking medications that suppress the immune system. It is not recommended you take over-the-counter medicine – such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen – before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent vaccine-related side effects. It is not known how these medications might affect how well the vaccine works. However, if you take these medications regularly for other reasons, you should keep taking them before you get vaccinated. It is also not recommended to take antihistamines before getting a COVID-19 vaccine to try to prevent allergic reactions. If you have questions about medications that you are taking, talk to your doctor or your vaccination provider.

Source: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/prepare-for-vaccination.html
Mild illnesses are NOT contraindications to vaccination. Do not withhold vaccination if a person is taking antibiotics.

Source: cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/pre-vaccination-screening-form.pdf
Administration of an antiviral drug at any interval before or after vaccination with any of the currently FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines, including the adenovirus vector Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, is unlikely to impair development of a protective antibody response.

Source: cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html
There is no current evidence that epidural steroid therapy will impact the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine or place the patient at increased risk of adverse effects from the vaccine.

Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7944369/
Persons who have received any COVID-19 vaccination will not be able to donate for 28 days from the date of vaccination.

Source: ilbs.in/plasma/patient.php
Yes. Women do not need to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine around their menstrual cycle:

  • The immune system is not sufficiently compromised by either the COVID-19 vaccine or the menstrual cycle that scheduling them around one another would be of benefit. Indeed, delaying vaccination around a woman’s cycle may only leave her unprotected from COVID-19 for a longer time without offering any known benefit.
  • The mRNA and adenovirus vaccines are processed in immune system cells near the injection site and then those cells travel through the lymph system to nearby lymph nodes, where additional cells of the immune system are activated. As such, the vaccines would not be expected to affect the menstrual cycle. If a woman experiences a delayed cycle following vaccination, one possible explanation could be hormonal changes caused by stress, which in turn can affect a woman’s cycle. However, women with concerns should speak with their doctor since cycles can be delayed for other reasons as well.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine is not shed after vaccination, so being around recently vaccinated individuals would not be expected to affect someone’s cycle.
Source: chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/making-vaccines/prevent-covid
Some people are prone to dizziness or fainting (known as vasovagal syncope) that is associated with receiving any kind of injection, or even when a blood sample is taken. Vaccination providers are trained to understand that fainting can occur with any kind of injection. Fainting or syncope usually occurs with other symptoms of anxiety, or in people who have previously had anxiety from a needle-based injection.

Source: cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/fainting.html
Source: uchealth.com/en/media-room/covid-19/everything-you-want-to-know-about-covid-19-vaccine-side-effects

No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and a viral vector vaccine. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the genetic material in the vaccines cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. All COVID-19 vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.

Source: CDC Vaccine Facts

No, the vaccine does not cause COVID-19. None of the approved COVID-19 vaccines contain the virus that causes COVID-19. It does take a few weeks after vaccination for your body to build up antibodies to protect you from the virus. That means it’s possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after getting the vaccine and still get sick. If your body develops an immune response to vaccination, which is the goal, you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

Source: CDC Factsheet

While several COVID-19 vaccines appear to have high levels of efficacy, no vaccine is 100% protective. As a result, there may be a small percentage of people who do not develop protection as expected after COVID-19 vaccination.In addition to a vaccine’s specific characteristics, several factors such as a person’s age, their underlying health conditions or previous exposure to COVID-19 may have an impact on a vaccine’s effectiveness. We also do not yet know how long immunity from different COVID-19 vaccines will last. That is one reason why, even as COVID-19 vaccines start to be rolled out, we must continue using all public health measures that work, such as physical distancing, masks, and handwashing.

Source: who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/coronavirus-disease-(covid-19)-vaccines-safety

No, vaccines do not contain live virus. The current technology used that is the mRNA vaccines use a new approach by which mRNA is delivered into our cells to provide the genetic instructions for our own cells to “temporarily” make a “specific” viral protein (the coronavirus spike protein) that triggers an immune response. This mRNA is the main ingredient of the vaccine responsible for causing an immune response.Also known as messenger ribonucleic acid, mRNA is the only active ingredient in the vaccine. The mRNA molecules contain the genetic material that provide instructions for our body on how to make a viral protein that triggers an immune response within our bodies. The immune response is what causes our bodies to make the antibodies needed to protect us from getting infected if exposed to the coronavirus.

Source: hackensackmeridianhealth.org/HealthU/2021/01/11/a-simple-breakdown-of-the-ingredients-in-the-covid-vaccines
None of the vaccines interact with or alter your DNA in any way, and therefore cannot cause cancer.Messenger RNA (mRNA) is not the same as DNA and cannot be combined with DNA to change your genetic code. Here’s now mRNA vaccines actually work: The mRNA vaccines use a tiny piece of the coronavirus’ genetic code to teach your immune system how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response if you get infected. The mRNA is fragile, so after it delivers the instructions to your cells, it breaks down and disappears from the body (in about 72 hours). The mRNA never even goes into the nucleus of the cell — the part that contains your DNA.

Therefore, there is no truth to the myth that somehow the mRNA vaccine could inactivate the genes that suppress tumors.

Source: mskcc.org/coronavirus/myths-about-covid-19-vaccines#myth-the-m-rna-vaccines-change-your-dna-and-could-cause-cancer

Rumours or social media posts suggesting that COVID-19 vaccines could cause infertility are not true and totally baseless. Such rumours were floated in the past against other vaccines also e.g. polio and measles. None of the available vaccines affects fertility. All vaccines and their constituents are tested first on animals and later in humans to assess if they have any such side effects. Vaccines are authorized for use only after their safety and efficacy is assured.

Source: mohfw.gov.in/pdf/FAQsforHCWs&FLWs.pdf

No, It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

Source: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html

No, it is not true. The vaccine does not affect our immune system adversely. COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.

Source: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html

Not True. In every vaccine trial, every effect needs to be noted, including all adverse events. The root cause analysis of every side-effect is examined in detail. Pausing a trial and restarting are safety mechanisms to protect the trial volunteers until each adverse effect is investigated and addressed. If the board or the company judges the adverse event to be particularly concerning, they may put the trial on pause — even without yet knowing if the event happened to someone who got the treatment or the placebo. Once a trial is paused, a safety board may ask for a volunteer who experienced an adverse event to be “unblinded”. If the volunteer received a placebo, then the treatment can’t be the cause of the event and the trial can continue.

If it turns out that the volunteer got the treatment, the board does a flurry of detective work. The members look over the medical records. They may ask for more information about volunteers’ health or even order new tests — not just for the people who experienced adverse events, but for everyone in the trial.

Source: nytimes.com/2020/10/14/health/covid-clinical-trials.html
At this time, there are no universal requirements for proof of vaccination (e.g. vaccine passport) to travel. If you are traveling by air, each airline has its own unique requirement and recommendations. It is recommended that you check with the airline you are travelling through for their specific requirements. Additionally, certain destinations may have their own vaccine requirements. It’s best to check with the destination to see if there are any travel-related requirements.
Yes, vaccines are for self-protection and the status of being vaccinated does not imply that the person is not carrying or transmitting the disease .However, the health status of the traveller will depend on the antibody status against the virus of COVID 19 at the time of travel.

Source: MyGov
It is not known how long immunity will last from the COVID-19 vaccine. In the clinical trials that have been conducted to date, the median length of follow-up was two months for vaccine recipients. It is also not known how long immunity from natural infection lasts; there are reports of waning antibody levels around three months after infection, and a few cases of reinfection have been reported. We do know that seasonal coronaviruses (a source for the common cold) do not induce a robust immune response, which leads to limited immunity to these viruses. It is likely that a vaccine will have a stronger and more lasting immune response, but data are limited and the research is ongoing.

Source: American Academy of Family Physicians Factsheet
Yes, it is absolutely necessary that everyone who has received the COVID vaccine should continue to follow the COVID appropriate behaviour i.e., mask, do gaj ki doori and hand sanitization to protect themselves and those around from spreading the infection.

Source:  mohfw.gov.in/pdf/FAQsforHCWs&FLWs.pdf
If you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine, you’ll need to provide the manufacturer name when you come to donate. In most cases, there is no deferral time for individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they are symptom-free and feeling well at the time of donation.

Source: redcrossblood.org/local-homepage/news/article/covid-19-vaccination-guide-blood-donation.html
Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like wearing a mask over your nose and mouth, washing your hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with you. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following  recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.

Source: CDC Factsheet