COVID-19 vaccine will not be available for sale in chemists, here’s why

Although the government has allowed vaccination for everyone over the age of 18 in the third phase starting from May 1, the vaccine will not be available for sale in chemists or pharmacies. According to government sources cited by the news agency IANS, only Covid Vaccination Centers (CVCs) and hospitals are allowed to administer the vaccines in the third phase of vaccination starting from May 1.

“All vaccination would be part of the National Vaccination Program, and mandatory to follow all protocols such as being caught on the CoWIN platform, linked to adverse events following immunization reports (AEFIs) and all other prescribed norms “Vaccine stocks and price applicable in all vaccination centers will also have to be reported in real time,” the IANS report quoted the government as saying.

The report quoted a senior official explaining that COVID-19 vaccines are permitted to be used under an emergency license, so it cannot be allowed to be sold in retail stores. “It is important to maintain vaccination in proper order. All hospitals and all CVCs, including those created in workplaces, are linked to AEFI to ensure that they are identified and any adverse reaction investigated, “he said.

The government is likely to announce a consultant for physicians and the public on the identification, investigation and management of AEFIs to outline specific symptoms that need to be investigated and managed after vaccination.

Announcing the decision on Monday, the government said everyone over the age of 18 will be eligible for vaccine against COVID-19 from May 1. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The government had also said that vaccination will continue to be provided free of charge to the eligible population as defined earlier which includes Healthcare Workers (CHC), Frontline Workers (FLWs) and everyone over 45 in Government of India (GoI vaccination centers).

(With IANS inputs)