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Do you have any questions about the COVID vaccine programme? Then we have quite a few answers for you. Do read.
This post has been translated by Mrigya Rai from the original on Women’s Web Hindi.
March 16th was National Vaccination Day, celebrated to mark the first oral polio vaccine was given on 16th March 1995.
Today we all know that a global vaccination campaign against Coronavirus infection in India has started from 16 January 2021. Two vaccines have been approved in India, one being the serum institute vaccine ‘Covishield’ and the other Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxine’.
In the first phase, the front-line health workers like doctors and nurses were given the COVID vaccine, followed by the auxiliary staff like cleaners, ward boys, etc, followed by vaccination to the policemen, security personnel and security forces.
Now the second phase is underway in which senior citizens and those above 45 years with known co-morbidities are being vaccinated.
Many people do not want to get vaccinated. Many are afraid of its side effects. And because in this stage includes our parents, other elders and loved ones who are struggling with illnesses, it is but natural that our minds are flooded with questions. Social media forwards and discussions, and a lot of fake info floating around have also led people to wonder – Is the COVID vaccine is safe? Can this vaccine actually protect us from the coronavirus? What are the side effects? Do they have to take 28 days off from office to take second round of this vaccine? And many more.
Among them, the most asked question is – what is the difference between Covaxin and Covishield?
To know the answers to all your questions, we spoke to Dr. Geeta Hegde, Consultant Physician at Mumbai’s Kem Hospital, who answered these questions related to the vaccine.
What is the difference between Covaxine and Covishield?
‘Covaxine’’ has been created by Bharat Biotech in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). This is why it is being called a Swadeshi vaccine. It produces antibodies against corona infection.
Whereas ‘Covishield’ is the Indian version of Oxford and Astrazeneca. The Serum Institute of India Company is producing it in India under the name of Kovishield. This vaccine has been developed with common cold adenovirus.
But both vaccines are equally effective. Two doses of both the vaccine needs to be taken. A 28-day gap has to be maintained between the two doses.
What is the fixed age limit of senior citizens? If I talk about my elderly parents who are around 89 and 90, can I get them vaccinated?
Yes, you can get them vaccinated, but for that some rules will have to be followed. Actually there are two categories in this phase –
But for this, they have to be registered first, and come to the vaccination centre with your Aadhar or Voter ID card., or an equivalent photo identity card by the Government of India. If you are over 46 years of age and have a co-morbidity or a serious illness, you need to get along a medical certificate.
Can a patient with ITP idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura undergo this vaccination?
Yes, they can get the vaccination. But before that, you should provide the correct information about your disease and the medicines you take to your doctor.
Is this vaccination safe for heart patients or cardiac patients?
Yes, it is completely safe for them, but if they are between 46 to 59, then show your doctor a certificate of co-morbidity first.
Can kidney transplant patients also get this vaccine?
Yes, you can, but take the health certificate given by your doctor with you.
Should patients suffering from diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, etc., not get this vaccine?
No, it is not like that at all. Rather, if you have these diseases and you are above the age of 46, then you must get vaccination.
Should those who have low platelet count get the COVID vaccine?
No, if your platelets are less than normal counting, then you cannot get this vaccine; you should wait a bit. When your platelet count becomes normal, you can get vaccinated then.
Should young couples who are thinking about having a baby, get this vaccine?
Men should not have any problem in getting vaccinated, but if the woman is pregnant or is planning to be in between two to three months, then you should not get this vaccine. If you are not thinking about pregnancy right now or planning for after two years, then you can get the vaccine.
The second wave of the pandemic seems to have started in India; how effective will this vaccine be?
This vaccination will prove to be very useful as it will strengthen the immune system inside our body to protect against this disease. The vaccine does not completely prevent getting the infection or the disease, but it will stop you from getting a severe condition and complications.
Even after vaccination, we should follow all the safety rules related to Covid 19, such as wearing masks, keeping social distance, hand sanitizing etc. All the necessary safety regulations should be followed, no matter what.
Since this vaccine has been made in such a short period of time, is it safe?
Yes, it is completely safe. It is true that the vaccine has been made in a very short time, but it is the hard work of our scientists behind it that only after examining the data of safety and effectiveness, a vaccine is approved. This vaccine is being used by regulatory bodies only after approval of examinations.
Are there any side effects after getting vaccinated?
There are no serious side effects after applying the vaccine, but you may experience mild fever, headache, body pain, as with normal vaccination. If this happens, there is no need to worry about it, and take symptomatic treatment.
Apart from this, if there is a problem or a serious allergy, or any symptom that bothers you and its intensity does not decrease, then you should go to the nearest hospital or your doctor. Contact the vaccine provider immediately, and inform them.
How many days after the vaccine will the antibodies develop?
Antibody levels will develop 14 days after the second dose of the vaccine.
There are two vaccines available in the market, so are we given a choice which vaccine we want to get? Or can we change the brand from which we have got vaccinated in the first dose?
No, this facility is not available in India right now. When you register for a vaccine and go for vaccination at the center, you will have to get the vaccine available at that center. And you have to take both doses of the same brand of vaccine.
Can a corona infected person get this vaccine too?
No, a person infected with corona can get this vaccine only after recovering.
Can I get the corona vaccine without registration?
No, registration for the vaccine is mandatory, and only after that will you be told the date and time when you will receive it. However, now many centers are also doing walk-in registration.
How to know if vaccination is complete?
After the completion of the entire schedule of the COVID vaccine, you’ll get an SMS on the registered number informing you about it. You will also receive a QR based certificate on the registered number.
If you want answers to some of similar common questions related to the Covid-19 vaccine, then you can also find answers by clicking here. (https://www.mygov.in/hi/covid-19)
For any other specific information related to the Covid vaccine especially with reference to your health condition/s, consult your doctor.
Disclaimer: The above information is given on the basis of a conversation with a doctor. But before following any of this advice, please consult your usual doctor.
Image source: BBC Hindi
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