People In India Can’t Choose Their Brand Of Vaccine: Govt

New Delhi: One of the questions doing the rounds on the COVID-19 vaccination process in India was whether citizens could choose their vaccine from the ones approved by Drugs Controller General of India — Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, or Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, as of now.

The answer is a categorical ‘no’.

Explaining the government’s stand on this issue, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said: “Several countries in the world are using more than one COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate their citizens. In none of these countries are beneficiaries being offered an option of choosing which vaccine to take.”

ICMR director general Dr Balram Bhargava said that recipients will get two doses of a vaccine, four weeks apart, the Hindustan Times reported.

“The current recommendations are very clear that it will be given at day zero and at day 28, four weeks apart, and as has been pointed out, the effect will come after two weeks. At the moment we are just considering 0 to 28 days, and we would like to focus on that,” Bhargava explained.

“There is some literature in the world which is showing that you can give up to six weeks apart, and some countries are also discussing whether it can be given at a bigger gap but at the moment we would like to stick to four weeks, and would like our first phase (of vaccination) to be at four weeks till more knowledge is attained,” he added.

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