The Health Ministry has recently updated Govt. FAQs on COVID-19 Vaccination. It has now said that those who have already received the first shot of the approved COVID-19 vaccine can now take the second dose of Covaxin between four to six weeks and the second shot of Covishield between four to eight weeks.
The increasing COVID cases in the country have also led the Union Cabinet to allow all citizens above 45 years to get the COVID-19 vaccine starting April 1. It has also removed the comorbidities clause to make the system simpler and more efficient to ensure a maximum number of people get vaccinated at the earliest.
In a circular released by the government, it has requested people to not panic as there is no shortage of coronavirus vaccines in the country. The circular read, “The Government has a well-oiled system that regularly monitors total vaccine allocation, total consumption and balance of vaccine, and needs for replenishment.”
What is the suggested time interval between the two doses?
The government has extended the time interval between two doses of the Covishield vaccine from the present 4 to 6 weeks to 4 to 8 weeks. It also mentioned that the efficacy of the vaccine will be greater when taken between 6-8 weeks, but should definitely not be administered after the 8th week.
The recipient is free to choose a day and date as per his/her convenience between the extended period of 4–8 weeks. One can also reschedule the appointment by visiting www.cowin.gov.in.
What happens after I get the vaccine?
The government has advised all recipients of the COVID vaccine to collect their vaccination certificates. Vaccination and the certificate are free in government hospitals. In private hospitals, vaccination is capped at ₹ 250, and this covers the cost of the certificate.
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This certificate can be either be procured digitally or in a form of a hard copy. In case you have received both the shots, but have not yet received the certificate, it is best advised to register a complaint on the too-free number 1075.
How to register for the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?
Those above 45 can register and book an appointment through the Arogya Setu app or via the CoWIN portal. Their slots will go live from April 1.
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Both new as well as those who have already received the vaccine can decide the date of the second dosage as the government has removed the auto-scheduling feature for the Covishield vaccine. This means all beneficiaries – even those who had earlier been automatically given appointments for the second dose – can decide on a date and time as per individual convenience.
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