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    Second phase of Covid-19 vaccination drive begins

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    In the first 28 days, India has administered the Covid-19 vaccine to close to 8 million beneficiaries. From February 13, the country began its second phase of vaccination to the priority group of healthcare workers.

    The available vaccines require a two-dose schedule to be administered two, three or four weeks apart. These vaccines are administered through the intramuscular route. In India, both Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin have the same course and schedule: two doses schedule, four weeks apart.

    The beneficiaries who were given the first shot on Day 1 will be administered with the second dose.

    According to doctors, the second dose can be administered anytime between four and six weeks after the first shot.

    States and UTs that have started the second dose on Saturday are Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu & Kashmir.

    According to the Centre’s guidelines, the protective levels of antibodies are generally developed two weeks after receiving the second dose of coronavirus vaccine. “You cannot take only one dose and then forget; don’t make such a mistake. And as the experts are saying, between the first and second doses, a gap of about one month will be kept. You have to remember that only two weeks after the second dose, your body will develop the necessary strength against corona,” Modi had said while requesting people to complete the cycle.

    The Co-WIN system of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is designed for end-to-end tracking of Covid vaccines and linking every dose to individual beneficiaries.

    After the vaccination process is complete, a QR code-based certificate will be sent to the registered mobile number of the beneficiary. As per the Centre’s guidelines, after administering the first dose, the vaccination officer ticks the vaccination completion checkbox in the Co-WIN system and the beneficiary will receive an SMS notification with a link for date and time of subsequent dose.

    The vaccine is being offered first to healthcare workers and frontline workers. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday announced that coronavirus vaccination for those above 50 years will begin in the next 2-3 weeks.

    The minister also added that about 18-19 coronavirus vaccine candidates are currently undergoing clinical trials and they may be available for public use in the coming months.

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