COVID-19 pandemic has thrown life out of gear all over the globe in 2020, affecting more than 87 million people and claiming over 1.8 million lives. Despite fewer cases, we are still witnessing people grappling under the fear of this deadly contagious disease, sprouting of coronavirus clusters for every few days be it at weddings, hotels, or even universities.
Ever since WHO announced coronavirus as a pandemic, the focus was on inventing the right vaccine and it is no exaggeration that various medical research facilities and labs across the globe raced against time with scientists, researchers working 24x7, hoping to find a cure or preventive medication.
Finally, the year 2021 brought in some good news and with the advent of effective vaccines for combating the rapid spread of this contagious infection, we can hopefully heave a sigh of relief. An effective vaccination means that we can all limp back to normalcy just like in the pre-corona era. However, there are many questions that are being raised about this preventive medication – its effectiveness, immunity, and most importantly side effects.
Read on to find out the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines, how they work, and the importance of following the infection prevention steps.
What Are The Benefits Of Getting A COVID-19 Vaccine?
Coronavirus can lead to serious and lethal complications in some individuals. Since it is a highly contagious infection, getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help in safeguarding the body by building an antibody response in the system without falling ill due to coronavirus. Furthermore, getting vaccinated may also help you protect people around you from being infected with coronavirus infection.
Which COVID-19 Vaccines Are Approved In India?
The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), the country’s national drug regulator, announced on Sunday (January 3) that the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has decided to accept the recommendations of its Subject Expert Committee (SEC), and approved the Covid-19 vaccines of both Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech for restricted use in the country. (Source: The Indian Express)
How Do Vaccines Work?
Covishield vaccine developed by Serum Institute of India is a non-replicating viral vector that makes use of another weakened virus like the common cold chimpanzee virus. This vaccine works to make spike protein on the virus’s surface, where the body’s immune system will recognize that the protein doesn’t belong there and starts building an immune stimulus making antibodies against the virus
Covaxin vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech uses a different technology of an inactivated vaccine that makes uses of the killed SARS-C0V-2 virus, which would not infect or replicate once injected, but serves to trigger an immune response. This vaccine is likely to target more than the spike protein, as it aims to develop an immune response to the nucleocapsid protein.
FAQ’s About COVID-19 Vaccinations
1. Is it mandatory to take the vaccine?
No, vaccination for COVID-19 is voluntary, however, it is advisable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for safeguarding oneself and to limit the spread of this disease to close contacts.
2. Will the vaccine be safe as it has been developed in a short span of time?
Yes, the two vaccines introduced in India will be effective. They have undertaken several phases of vaccine trials to assure its safety and efficacy.
3. If I had already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need a vaccine?
Yes, COVID-19 vaccination should be given to you regardless of whether you already had been infected. This will help in developing a robust immune response against the disease.
4. Should a person currently having COVID-19 (confirmed or suspected) infection be vaccinated?
A person with confirmed coronavirus infection may increase the risk of transmitting the same to others at the vaccination site. Hence, infected individuals should defer vaccination for 14 days after symptoms settle.
5. Can a person with comorbid illness on medications take the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. Individuals with comorbid diseases are categorized as a high-risk group, hence, they need to get COVID-19 vaccination.
6. What is the time interval required for the COVID-19 vaccine doses administration?
Two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have to be taken at a 28-day interval. Health experts recommend that a gap of 2-3 months between each dose can increase effectiveness.
7. Does the COVID-19 vaccine have any side effects?
As it is common with all other vaccines, mild fever and pain at the site of injection are usual side effects.
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