People who will be receiving the COVID-19 vaccine will get to know the type of vaccine–Covaxin or Covishield–only at the inoculation centre and not while scheduling the appointment.
This is as per the Centre's guidelines on February 26, for the second phase of India's coronavirus vaccination drive that began on March 1.
According to the Economic Times, the state governments will determine the allocations to the private hospitals. They do not have an option to choose what kind of vaccine they would offer.
"This is necessary to avoid mixing of vaccine types in the first and second dose of a beneficiary," the guidelines read.
"We have not differentiated between the vaccine type — the vaccination is voluntary," said a senior health ministry official. "A person would get to know what vaccine they are being administered only after reaching the centre. The person would be explained everything as per the set protocol."
The second phase of the vaccination drive will cover people above 60 years of age and those between 45-59 with commodities. Bharat Biotech's Covaxin will be offered at private hospitals for the first time, as the vaccine was restricted to only government medical colleges as of now.
The vaccine's availability to government medical colleges was because the jab required consent forms to be signed by the recipient and follow-ups to track adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) as its still under trial.
The central government reiterated the vaccines' safety factor and is planning to release an awareness document for recipients.