- Healthcare and frontline workers are vaccinated in the first phase
- Private healthcare will be roped in for the second phase of vaccination
- COVID-19 vaccine will be available for free in government hospitals
New Delhi: The second phase of the coronavirus vaccination drive is going to kick start from March 1 with priority given to those who are above 60 and those over 45 with co-morbidities. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar announced this on Wednesday (January 24). Doctors and hospitals welcomed the second phase vaccination campaign. Speaking on the subject, Dr H.S Chabbra Medical Director and Chief of Spine Indian Spinal Injuries Centre said, “We welcome the government’s decision to start vaccination of vulnerable, common people within less than 2 months of first vaccines being administered.”
He added, we are in touch with the authorities to fine tune the modalities of this 2nd phase of vaccination and will continue to maintain the protocols set during the first phase — wearing a mask, separate entry and exit, maintaining social distancing and observation areas for vaccinated people. We are awaiting further directives from the MoHFW on pricing and guidelines to vaccinate people below 60 years of age with comorbidities.
Congratulating the government on this bold step, Dr Gurpreet Sandhu, president, Council for Healthcare and Pharma said,
We congratulate the government for taking this bold step and open the vaccination against COVID-19 for elderly and vulnerable common people. It has been a little more than a month since priority workers started getting the vaccine but the recent increase in the number of infected people around the country as well as a wide variety of mutant strains have necessitated that more people start developing immunity against the virus.
He continued, “As private offices have also started operating and people are travelling using public transport, vaccinating people with comorbidity below 45 is a much-needed step. We are sure that the government will keep the vaccine prices affordable for those who have to or chose to pay for it.”
While the vaccine has been found to be generally safe for the elderly and people with comorbidities, it is always the right thing to consult your doctor before proceeding with the vaccination. It is essential to understand that every vaccine, be it a flu vaccine or a COVID vaccine may have some kind of adverse effects associated with it. In the majority of cases, the effects will be minor such as a mild fever or pain on the site, which is perfectly normal. However, in very few people, the reaction might be severe.
People who have certain kinds of allergies such as food allergies or skin allergies must be very cautious before taking the vaccine because such people may have serious adverse reactions. You must inform the health authorities in detail about your allergic history and elements or drugs you are allergic to. For example, if you are allergic to a component that is present in the vaccine, you will not be given the shot.
At the same time, people who have had some bad experience with any other vaccine in the past must also be careful. Also, if you are feeling unwell such as having a fever or cold, wait till you are better to get the vaccine. Other than that, most other people, be it elderly or those with co-morbidities can take the vaccine without any apprehension.
Advising patients on the post-vaccination precautions, Dr Shuchin Bajaj, founder director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals said,
After taking the vaccine, you are advised to wait at the health centre for half an hour so that in case an adverse reaction is observed, you can get immediate medical help. In case you experience an adverse reaction later, you must immediately inform your doctor.
Warning people against giving up on masks, he added,
Another important thing to underline is that you must not throw caution to the winds after getting vaccinated. Continue to wear a mask and maintain social distance even after getting the shot. Remember, it takes time even after getting the second shot to develop antibodies.
Dr Arunesh Kumar, HOD, Paras Chest Institute, Paras Hospital, Gurugram said,
Elderly people and those with co-morbidities such as chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, hypertension or heart disease are at high risk of COVID related complications. It is important therefore that all these high-risk groups take vaccination proactively. Every vaccine has some form of adverse effects but they are mostly mild in a majority of people. They may include pain or swelling on the site of the injection or mild fever, joint pain. Severe adverse events are extremely rare.
People should ensure that all precautions are taken to avoid the said adverse effects. Before taking the shot they must brief in detail the healthcare provider about the conditions they are suffering from and the medications they are consuming. For example, if you a person is on blood thinners, the healthcare provider will watch them closely for any excessive bleeding on the site. Also, it’s important for people to inform the healthcare providers about any allergies – food or drug — they might have as people with allergies have been found to suffer from adverse reactions.
The injection site must be clean and free of allergies before the shot is given. After having taken the shot, it is advised not to rush off immediately and wait for 30 minutes at the hospital or clinic to rule out any immediate adverse reaction. Also, inform the doctor immediately if any adverse events post the vaccination are experienced.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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.