“Both the vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) have been authorized for emergency use and there should be no doubt about their safety. They have been tested on thousands of people and side-effects are negligible. There is no risk of any significance,” Dr Paul said at a press conference here.
“These two are safest of the vaccines. Let’s give the message that these vaccines are safe and secure. We need to send the message we need to take this message and defeat coronavirus,” he added.
Dr Paul urged the media to raise awareness and spread a message of safe vaccination across the country. He also appealed to all healthcare workers and frontline workers to come forward and get vaccinated.
“We believe it is very much in our grasp to mount the world’s largest vaccination programme which is set to begin from January 16. We need to engage all the organisations who want to help the administration in the vaccination drive. Those organizations, institutes who would like to offer help in this vaccination programme, can approach their respective district authorities and help in making this program a success,” he said.
He also thanked the Indian Medical Association (IMA) for accepting and supporting the two vaccines being manufactured in the country. Covaxin has also been developed in the country.
Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said that the maximum time gap between the first dose and subsequent dose will be 28 days and the “effect of the vaccine will come out after 14 days of the doses.”
The first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive is scheduled to start from January 16.
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the central government is having close collaboration with states and union territories for vaccine roll-out. “All preparations are on track for vaccine roll-out from January 16,” he said.