With the COVID-19 vaccinations to roll out anytime now, AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria answered some FAQs related to the vaccines.

When will India launch the COVID-19 vaccination?

Many of the vaccines are in Phase-3 of trials, and once the regulatory authorities give clearances, the Centre will launch these COVID-19 vaccines.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine be given to everyone simultaneously?

This will depend on the availability of vaccines. The government has selected priority groups who will be vaccinated. The first group includes healthcare and frontline workers, while the second group will be people over 50 years and people under 50 years with co-morbid conditions.

Is COVID-19 vaccination mandatory?

Vaccination is voluntary. However, it is advisable to take the complete COVID-19 vaccine schedule to protect self and family members, and co-workers.

How safe is the vaccine? 

The vaccine will be introduced in the country only after the regulatory bodies clear it based on its safety and efficacy. "Safety is the most important factor and all standard precautions as have been followed in the past for the approval of the vaccine, will be followed as far as this vaccine is concerned," said Dr Guleria.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine in India be as effective as the ones introduced in other countries?

The COVID-19 vaccine introduced in India will be as effective as any vaccine developed by other countries. Various phases of vaccine trials are undertaken to ensure its safety and efficacy.

How will one know if he/she is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination?

The eligible beneficiaries will be informed through their registered mobile number regarding the health facility where the vaccine will be provided and its scheduled time. This will be done to avoid any inconvenience in the registration and vaccination of beneficiaries.

Is registration with the Health Department mandatory for COVID-19 vaccination?

Registration of beneficiary is mandatory for vaccination for COVID-19. Only after registration, the information on the session site and time will be shared with the beneficiary.

What are the required documents for the registration of eligible beneficiaries?

Any of the documents mentioned below, along with a photo, can be produced at the time of registration:

- Driving license, Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of the Ministry of Labour, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Job Card.

- Official identity cards issued by MPs/MLAs/MLCs. 

- PAN card, Passbooks issued by Banks/Post Office, Passport, Pension documents.

- Service ID cards issued by the Central or State government and public limited companies or Voter ID cards. 

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