It is important at this stage to understand various aspects of vaccine and its application. There are various questions that we are getting from the environment. We reached our vaccinologist and asked those questions to get the answers.
Question 1 : Should I take the vaccine if eligible?
One must take the vaccine as soon as possible. It is important to understand that the government launched vaccine drive in a phased manner as they covered cases more susceptible to coronavirus first. This does not mean that other age groups do not require it. Hence as soon as one is eligible, one must take it immediately.
Question 2 : There are so many available, which one is the best for me?
In India currently only Covishield and Covaxin are available. For pregnant and lactating females & those with immunosuppressive diseases, it is advised to take Covishield. All others can take either vaccine, but make sure you take the second dose of the same vaccine (don’t mix and match).
Question 3 : I contracted coronavirus recently. Now should I take the vaccine or not?
Irrespective of the fact that one contracted coronavirus and had mild, moderate, or severe symptoms, one must take the vaccine. However since the body must have developed antibodies after one goes through Covid, the vaccine program can be delayed to 90 days from the day it came positive. In certain cases, it may be advisable to consult a doctor.
Question 4 : I contracted Coronavirus after taking my first dose. Now, do I need a second dose?
One needs to understand that the need for a second dose is to boost the production of antibodies. Hence if you have taken one dose and then contracted the virus, it acted as a booster dose. However one must take the second dose between 60 to 90 days from the day you came corona positive.
Question 5 : Pfizer claims an efficacy of 95% whereas our vaccine shows much less efficacy. Are we using inferior vaccine?
Vaccine trials have several stages and environmental factors which include climatic configuration, location, ethnic category, time of trials etc. Hence a vaccine that came into force early will show different numbers. Indian vaccine came at a time when various variants are in circulation. So just talking about percentage claimed has no meaning. Indian vaccines are equally efficient.
Question 6 : These vaccines are told to be ineffective on variants. So why should we have it?
The vaccine may not give complete cover against each variant however protection against hospitalisation and death is excellent. Hence it is advisable to take the vaccine.
Question 7 : We heard that few people died and there are reports of blood clots etc. So are these vaccines safe?
Smokers have a chance of blood clots 100 times more than people being vaccinated. Unfortunately, anything happening within few weeks of vaccination is being attributed to the vaccine without investigation. Clotting or death is extremely rare. Hence one must go ahead with vaccination.
Question 8 : What is the gap I should maintain between two doses of vaccine?
The government now recommends six to eight weeks of interval to have more efficacy. However one must follow the doctor and protocol as laid down by the government strictly.
Question 9 : After having two doses of a vaccine, should I have another one of a different vaccine?
It is not advisable to do so unless a new protocol is established on this. Remember not to experiment on yourself. Let the doctors and the government set a protocol.
Question 10 : If I am fit, have no morbidities, I take Ayurveda supplements daily and daily do running/ gyming. Do I still need the vaccine as I believe my immunity is very good?
It is excellent that your fitness is good. However please remember that virus is a different ballgame. Irrespective of one’s fitness, virus cannot be avoided. Your fitness can definitely help you recover faster under most circumstances. However, understanding the virus is a mystery for science. Hence do not take any stupid decisions. Take vaccine as per protocol set by the government.
One must feel lucky to be in India and to have the vaccine in 2021. Many poor countries are expected to have vaccines available in 2023. Our government has worked extremely well to have provided the resources. The world is facing so many problems which they never did. This pandemic is new to everyone including our government. Acknowledge our government’s efforts and follow the protocol