- COVID-19 vaccines currently being used in India are two dose vaccines
- It’s important to take both doses of the same vaccine type
- Crucial to follow COVID precautions even after vaccination: WHO
New Delhi: Starting May 1, all above 18 years of age will be eligible to take the COVID vaccine, the government announced on April 19. Eligible beneficiaries can register for their shot from April 28 on the Co-WIN (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network) platform and Aarogya Setu app. If you are above 18 and planning to take the vaccine shot, here are a few things to know about the vaccine, who can take it, and things to follow before and after COVID vaccination.
Who is not eligible to take the vaccine?
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, following people should avoid the COVID-19 vaccine:
1. Pregnant and lactating mothers are advised to not take the COVID-19 vaccine as they have not been part of any clinical trial.
2. People with allergic reactions to vaccines, pharmaceutical products, and notable food allergies are also not allowed to take the jab.
3. Anyone who has had an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine earlier should refrain from taking the vaccine.
4. Persons showing active symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection or who have had COVID-19 in the last 4-8 weeks should also avoid getting vaccinated.
5. People who are acutely unwell and hospitalised patients (with or without intensive care) due to any illness are also not included.
Things to remember before and after vaccination
1. There are a few bleeding disorders like ‘haemophilia’. These persons should take the vaccine under the supervision of their treating physician.
2. After receiving the COVID vaccine shot, stay put at the vaccination center for 30 minutes. It is to monitor any adverse event following immunisation (AEFI).
3. Remember, it’s normal to have side effects like mild fever, pain at the injection site and body ache. This is similar to the side effects that occur post some other vaccines. These are expected to subside after some time.
After being administered #COVID19Vaccine, some individuals may have side effects like mild fever, pain at injection site & bodyache. This is similar to the side effects that occur post some other vaccines.
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 14, 2021
If the side-effects persist for a longer time, contact the vaccination centre or visit the nearest health facility. Do not initiate any self-medication and treatment.
Let’s not complicate taking a COVID-19 vaccine. It’s like any other vaccination and people might have some side-effects which are normal. Just be prepared for simple medication like Paracetamol, if required, said Dr Ravindra M Mehta, Senior Consultant and HOD – Pulmonology and Interventional pulmonology, Apollo Speciality Hospitals Jayanagar.
4. Continue following COVID precautionary measures – wear a mask, maintain social distance and practise hand hygiene. Giving out two reasons behind continuing precautions, WHO’s Dr Kate O’ Brien said,
We don’t actually have the evidence yet for using the vaccine in some age groups, children, for instance. So, for the time being, those age groups are going to continue to be at risk of both disease and infection and being able to transmit to other people. The second reason is that the vaccines are in short supply, so we don’t have enough vaccine yet out in the community to protect everybody.
5. Take the second dose of the vaccine as per the schedule. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHF&W), a gap of four to six weeks has to be maintained between the two doses, if taking Covaxin, whereas, in the case of Covishield, the second dose can be taken four to eight weeks after the first dose. Explaining the importance of taking both the doses, WHO’s Chief Scientist, Dr Soumya Swaminathan said,
The first dose actually presents this new antigen to the immune system to prime it. And the second dose is the one that really gives a boost to the immune system so that the antibody response, as well as T cell mediated response, they are very strong and they also develop a memory response, which then lasts for a long time, so that when the body sees this antigen again, this virus protein again, it knows that it needs to react quickly.
6. After getting the vaccine (whether the first or second dose), the vaccinee must ensure to take their vaccination certificate which can be either a hard copy or a digital copy. Vaccination and the certificate are free in government hospitals. Vaccination in private hospitals is capped at Rs. 250, and this includes the cost of the certificate.
7. One can get COVID-19 even after the vaccination as no vaccine is 100 per cent safe which is why it is essential to take all precautions. Having said that, it is important to take the vaccine as it has shown to reduce the severity of the disease, say experts.
There are a lot of people who are saying what is the point of vaccination because I know a person who got vaccination and even after two weeks of vaccination, he got COVID-19. The vaccine prevents you from getting the disease in the form of severe illness, hospitalisation, going into the ICUs, or even dying from COVID-19. It may not prevent you from getting the infection, said Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, as quoted by news agency ANI.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.