It is understandable that across the country, although people have signed up for the COVID-19 vaccine, there are some questions and confusion on their minds. We have already entered the second phase of the vaccination campaign, which means that a considerable part of the population has already received the vaccine.
If you are the next in line and you are looking for someone to answer your questions and clear your doubts, look no further. Dr. Rahul Pandit, Director of Intensive Care at Fortis Hospitals Mumbai and a member of the Maharashtra COVID Task Force, has produced a guide for people over 60 and over 45 with comorbidities.
Read on to understand better.
* All adults should take the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage others to take it as well.
* You should have eaten and be well hydrated for your vaccination.
* Only people with anaphylaxis (allergic reaction) to any of the contents of the vaccine should avoid taking the vaccine.
* All approved vaccines, including Covishield and Covaxin, have:
– 100% effectiveness in preventing death from COVID-19.
– Very high efficacy against severe COVID-19.
– High to moderate efficacy (60% -95%) against symptomatic COVID-19.
– Poor efficacy only against asymptomatic COVID-19.
* Vaccination of the vulnerable high-risk population, over 60 and over 45 with comorbidities, will reduce the mortality rate to ‘very low’, as this group currently forms almost 90 percent of patients who succumb to disease. .
* People with a previous COVID-19 infection should receive the vaccine only after 8 to 12 weeks of recovery.
* A person who has received plasma therapy to treat a previous COVID-19 infection should wait 8 to 12 weeks before receiving the vaccine.
* The vaccine is safe in patients with hypertension, diabetes, kidney failure, and heart disease, including those who have undergone bypass, post-angiography, and those on dialysis.
* In pregnant women, if the benefit outweighs the risks of the vaccine, then you can take the vaccine. A pregnant frontline worker should receive the vaccine.
* There is no data on how long pregnancy should be avoided after vaccination. As it is an inactivated or killed virus, it should be safe to conceive after 6-8 weeks of vaccination.
* The vaccine is safe among people with food allergies, drug allergies (other than vaccine components), and common allergic conditions such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, and allergic dermatitis. But check with your doctor before signing up.
* People taking antiplatelet agents such as aspirin and clopidogrel should take the COVID-19 vaccine without stopping their medication.
* Patients taking blood thinners such as warfarin or newer anticoagulant agents have a small risk of swelling at the injection site. Patients taking these newer agents can skip the morning dose, take the vaccine, and continue with the next regular dose.
* Patients with neurological complications such as stroke, Parkinson’s, dementia should receive the vaccine as it is safe for them.
* Patients receiving immunosuppressants (patients who have undergone organ transplants) of any type can safely receive the vaccine. However, the immune response may not be complete. Check with your doctor before signing up.
* It is false that alcohol is not allowed after the vaccine or that the vaccine causes impotence or that the vaccine changes a person’s DNA.
* There are currently no trials available in children, so vaccination for those under 18 may be delayed for now.
* Cancer patients and those undergoing chemotherapy should consult their physician and seek an appropriate window for vaccination between chemotherapy cycles. Ideally, the patient should wait at least four weeks after chemotherapy to receive the vaccine.
* Fever, body aches, dizziness, headaches are common symptoms after vaccination.
* A simple paracetamol can be taken after vaccination if necessary, and most symptoms will be well controlled.
“The best way to get the right information is to talk to the doctors at the medical centers. Vaccine-induced immunity is as important as herd immunity, ”says the doctor.