India is the second-worst hit country after the United States. We recorded nearly 9.7 million infections and more than 1,40,000 deaths. We have seen that the last year 2020, passed by with new regulations, social distance, mask, sanitizing, and hope for a vaccine to be given immunity from the Coronavirus strain. Although it is all over the news about the research and development of Covid vaccines for quite some time, one was unsure when the vaccination process will begin. Currently, there is also a scare of the second strain of Covid-19 coming stronger and fatally high. With this, the work on the medicines has also sped up, resulting in some positive news. Approval of the Covid-19 vaccine at this time has come as a blessing to all.
As the year 2021 began, it all started with hope. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) gave a go-to for Bharath Biotech's Covaxin and Oxford-Astrazeneca's and Serum Institute of India's Covishield. Assuring the safety of the vaccines, Drug Controller General of India VG Somani said, "We will never approve anything if there is slightest of safety concern. The vaccines are 110 percent safe." He also added that Covishield was examined to be 70.42 percent effective, and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin is considered safe and provides a robust immune response. Sharing his appreciations and happiness, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "A decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight! DCGI approving vaccines of Serum Institue of India & Bharat Biotech accelerate the road to a healthier and COVID-free nation. Congratulations India! Congratulations to our hardworking scientists & innovators. It would make every Indian proud that the two vaccines that have been given emergency use approval are made in India."
Another person who played an active and vital role in providing continuous inputs about the manufacturing process of the Covid-19 vaccines in the country is AIMS Director, Dr. Randeep Guleria. Dr. Guleria praised the Indian Government for being quick in approving the two covid vaccines for emergency use. He mentioned it is a "great day for our country and a perfect way to start the new year." Also stressed the fact that the coronavirus vaccines are cost-effective and easy to administer. Although it is all over the news about the two Covid vaccines and their approval, one is unsure when the vaccination process will begin. But, Dr. Guleria hopes that the medicine will start rolling out in a short period as the medication is going through various stages and everyone's ensuring that it is safe for human use.
The news of Covid vaccines has brought in cheer for every member looking to remedy the virus. Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan shedding some light on the current approval of the Covid-19 vaccine, said that it is a watershed moment for our country while fighting against the pandemic.
The media platforms also started storming with questions, out of which is the common question was – how many Indians are ready to take the vaccine?
Similarly, according to a survey conducted by LocalCircles, an online platform, the query was 'The first Covid-19 vaccine in India now stands approved. What will be your approach to taking this vaccine." For this, there were 8,723 responses. And out of which, only 26 percent of Indian citizens are ready to get the vaccine shot as soon as it is available. A more extensive section is about 69 percent of individuals are in no rush to take a Covid-19 vaccine.
Another question that is doing the rounds is: "Who would be the first recipients of the vaccine?" For which, Dr. Harsh Vardhan tweeted, "In 1st phase of #COVID19Vaccination, free #vaccine shall be provided across the nation to most prioritized beneficiaries that include one-crore healthcare & 2 crore frontline workers. Details of how further 27 crore priority beneficiaries are to be vaccinated until July are being finalized,"
While the first phase of vaccination is planned to be completed by August 2021, the second phase of vaccination and its availability are still unclear.