New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry has informed all states and union territories that interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines is not permitted, and pregnant and lactating women should not be administered the shots as they have not been part of any anti-coronavirus vaccine clinical trial so far.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had recently granted emergency use authorisation to two COVID-19 vaccines – Covishield, developed by Oxford University and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca, and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
India will launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 in what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the world’s largest inoculation programme.
Around three lakh healthcare and frontline workers will be inoculated at 2,934 sites across the country on the first day of the nationwide vaccination drive.
The ministry has already said that getting vaccinated for COVID-19 will be voluntary.