The Indian Health Ministry announced that getting vaccinated will be voluntary while underlining that the vaccine introduced in India will be as effective as any vaccine developed by other countries.
The ministry listed a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the COVID-19 vaccine and responded to questions like if taking a vaccine was mandatory, how long does it take for the antibodies to develop and if it was necessary for a COVID recovered person to take the vaccine.
"Vaccination for COVID-19 is voluntary. However, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of the vaccine for protecting oneself against this disease and also to limit the spread of this disease to the close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers," the ministry said in response to a question on if it is mandatory to take the shot.
Six vaccines - one developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR, second one developed by Zydus Cadila, third one by Gennova, Oxford vaccine, trial of which is conducted by Serum Institute of India, Sputnik V vaccine which is being manufactured by Dr Reddy's Lab, Hyderabad, in collaboration with Russia's Gamaleya National Centre and the sixth one manufactured by Biological E Ltd, Hyderabad, in collaboration with MIT, USA are undergoing clinical trials in India.
Two doses of vaccine, 28 days apart, need to be taken by an individual to complete the vaccination schedule, it stated.
"COVID-19 vaccine will be introduced only when the safety is proven. As is true for other vaccines, the common side effects in some individuals could be mild fever, pain, etc. at the site of injection," the ministry said in the FAQs.