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India’s Coronavirus Vaccination Drive: Union Health Minister Dispel Myths Surrounding COVID-19 Vaccine

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan took to Twitter to dispel myths surrounding coronavirus vaccines like vaccines can cause COVID-19 disease and infertility among men and women

India’s Coronavirus Vaccination Drive Union Health Minister Dispel Myths Surrounding COVID-19 Vaccine
  • India has approved two COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use starting Jan 16
  • COVID-19 vaccines cannot give the disease to the host: Dr Harsh Vardhan
  • Mild side effects from COVID-19 vaccine will go away on its own: Dr Vardhan

New Delhi: India is gearing up to kick-start vaccination drive against COVID-19 disease. On Saturday (January 16), at 10.30 AM, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the COVID-19 vaccine drive with vaccine shots manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech. Ahead of India’s Coronavirus vaccination drive which is being called the world’s largest vaccination programme, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan took to Twitter to dispel myths about vaccines. Through a series of graphics on Twitter, Dr Vardhan addressed numerous concerns and doubts surrounding COVID-19 vaccination and urged people to trust only official channels of communication of the government to get correct information about COVID-19, vaccines and the vaccination process.

Also Read: NITI Aayog Member Dr VK Paul Answers Your Queries On COVID-19 Vaccination Drive To Be Launched By PM Modi

Can COVID-19 Vaccine Cause Infertility In Women Or Men?

Answering the query of whether COVID-19 vaccine can cause infertility in men or women, Dr Vardhan wrote there is no scientific evidence to suggest that. He also clarified that infertility is not known to occur as a result of COVID-19 disease either and asked, “Kindly do not pay heed to such rumours or information from unverified sources.”

Also Read: Will We Have A Choice For COVID-19 Vaccine? Does People Who Have Contracted COVID In Past Need To Get Vaccinated? An Expert Explains It All

Can One Catch COVID-19 From The Vaccine?

Allaying fears of people on the side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, Dr Vardhan wrote, “You cannot contract COVID-19 because you have been inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine.”

The tweet on whether one can catch COVID-19 from vaccine further explained that, though you cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine, it is possible to have caught COVID-19 and not realise one has the symptoms until after the vaccination appointment.

“Temporary side effects such as mild fever should not be confused as having contracted COVID”, noted Dr Vardhan.

Also Read: Experts Answer Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines

The fear of contracting COVID-19 from vaccine arises because of the fact that the two COVID-19 vaccines – Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishiled and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin – that have been given emergency use license are made from some kind of virus. Coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or AZD1222 or Covishield is a live-attenuated vaccine which means it uses a living but weakened version of the virus or one that’s very similar. The ChAdOx1 vaccine is a chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine vector. This is a harmless, weakened adenovirus that usually causes the common cold in chimpanzees.

On the other hand, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine. As part of the process, disease carrying virus, in the case of COVID-19 it is SARS-CoV-2, is inactivated or killed and then injected.

Also Read: India Gears Up For Mega COVID Vaccination Drive, A Look At Vaccination Process On Ground

Are There Any Known Side-Effects Of COVID-19 Vaccines?

“After being administered COVID-19 vaccine, some individuals may have side effects like mild fever, pain at the injection site and bodyache. This is similar to the side effects that occur post some other vaccines. These are expected to go away on their own after some time”, tweeted Dr Vardhan.

Also Read: A Scoring System To Ensure High Risk Individuals Get Immunised First, Says AIIMS Director As India Approve COVID-19 Vaccines For Emergency Use

Can COVID-19 Vaccines Fight Against Coronavirus Mutations?

Two particular variants of Novel Coronavirus have been reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from the United Kingdom and South Africa. WHO’s Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan, said,

Scientists have now studied this and have found that these variants do tend to spread faster, they are more transmissible or more infectious. So that’s the worrying part. However, so far, they do not seem to cause more severe illness or a higher death rate or any sort of different clinical manifestations.

Busting the myth that COVID-19 will not provide any protection against mutant strains, Dr Vardhan wrote, “There is no evidence that the vaccine is not effective against the new forms of corona found in the UK and South Africa.”

Also Read: COVID-19 Outbreak Explained: Can COVID-19 Vaccines Fight Against Virus Mutations?

Are India’s Coronavirus Vaccines Less Effective Than Other Countries’ Vaccines?

Dismissing the myth, Dr Vardhan assured that Indian COVID-19 vaccines have gone through multiple tests and trials and are effective against Novel Coronavirus.

Also Read: India’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme Explained: What Is Co-WIN Vaccine Delivery Management System, All You Need To Know

Only Health Workers, Senior Citizens And Children Below The Age Of 10 Will Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19?

Dr Harsh Vardhan dispelled out that for the first phase of vaccination, the government has chosen people belonging to high-risk group. In the first phase of India’s Coronavirus vaccination drive, 30 crore citizens will be vaccinated. The vaccination drive will begin with 1 crore health workers followed by 2 crore frontline workers and 27 crore people above the age of 50 and below 50 years with co-morbidities. Dr Vardhan said that after the targeted 30 crore citizens have got been inoculated, a vaccine will be available to those in need.

Also Read: India’s COVID Vaccination Programme Explained: Who Will Get It First, What Is The Process And Other Things You Need To Know

Is Coronavirus Vaccination Mandatory For Everyone?

No, vaccination is voluntary. However, it is recommended that full doses of the vaccine are required to prevent the spread of the virus, wrote Dr Vardhan.

Also Read: As India Set To Begin Immunisation Drive For COVID-19, Experts Answer FAQs On Coronavirus Vaccination

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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