The Drug Controller General of India VG Somani has approved two vaccines for coronavirus — first is Oxford Institute’s Covishield and the other is Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. Speaking of his approval of the vaccine, Somani said, “We’ll never approve anything if there is slightest of safety concern. The vaccines are 110 per cent safe”.

As India prepares for the largest vaccination drive, of which the dry run has been initiated in most of the states, here are some of the most most common concerns answered.

Who will get COVID19 vaccination first?

Union Health Minister Dr Harshvardhan said that the government will give priority to atleast 1 crore healthcare workers as well as 2 crore frontline workers once the vaccinations begin. AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria has added that the government has identified priority groups who will be vaccinated based on risk factors. The government has shared a video by Dr Guleria where he is talking about the vaccines to address common questions.

Who will produce COVID Vaccines in India?

Pune-based Serum Institute will manufacture Oxford Institute’s Covishield in India, while Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN has also received emergency approval from the regulator.

How many doses of COVID vaccine will be required?

AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria has said that two doses of the vaccine will have to be taken 28 days apart. He added that we can expect protective levels of antibodies to develop two weeks after the second dose.

It is notable that people should only get one of the vaccines and mix the two.

Can I get the vaccine if I have COVID?

As per Dr Gulerai, active and symptomatic persons should defer getting a vaccination for at least 14 days ‘after’ the symptoms are resolved.

Can comorbid patients take the COVID19 vaccine?

Persons who suffer conditions like cancer, diabetes and hypertension should take the vaccine, said Dr Guleria. He says that medicines being taken by high-risk groups will not interfere with the efficacy of the approved vaccines.

Will the senior citizens get priority vaccination?

After health workers and frontline workers, persons who are above 50 years of age will receive the vaccination. Age for vaccination will be calculated based on the cut off date of 1st January 2021. Hence, those who are born on or before 1st January 1971 will be receiving priority vaccination.

What is the process to register for vaccination?

Beneficiaries will have to register with the health department online for the vaccination. Common Service centres will be enabled for self-registration. Individuals can register using their government identification cards such as driving license, Health Insurance smart card, MGNREGA job card, official ID cards issued by MPs, members of state legislature, Permanent Account Number (PAN) card, passbooks issued by the banks or post offices, pension documents, service identity cards issued by employers,  voter ID cards etc.