While the government has allowed sale of Covid vaccines in the open market from May 1, the shots will not be available for sale at chemists or pharmacies. Only hospitals and approved vaccination centres can administer the vaccines.
Adverse events following immunisation (AEFIs) will be recorded on Co-Win and meticulously monitored, senior officials said.
The government is expected to come up with an advisory for doctors and the general public on identification, investigation and management of AEFIs in the next two days. The advisory will outline specific symptoms that need to be investigated and managed if reported after vaccination.
“Covid vaccines are allowed under emergency licensure and, therefore, they cannot be sold at chemists. It is important to administer them in a proper set-up and follow the guidelines during immunisation. Besides, all these vaccination centres, including the ones at workplaces, are linked with AEFI management centres to ensure identification and investigation of any adverse reaction,” an official said.
Amid increasing number of Covid-19 cases across the country, the Centre on Monday allowed anyone above 18 to receive the anti-Covid shots from May 1, opening options for states, hospital chains as well as corporate houses to procure and vaccinate all those who are eligible.
While anti-Covid shots will continue to be given free of cost to health and frontline workers and those above 45 years of age under the Centre’s national Covid immunisation programme, private hospitals, states and corporate houses will procure directly from manufacturers at a pre-fixed price for vaccination of those above 18 outside the central programme.
The government is expecting the number of vaccinations to increase significantly after May 1. Vaccination is seen as an effective tool in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.