Importance of Vaccination to fight Covid

health security

Over the past few months, it is being asserted that health security has now become an indispensable part of national security for every country. There is an absolute need to ensure equitable access to the covid-19 vaccines all across the globe as it has now been established that no one is safe till the time everyone is safe. 

Ever since the vaccination process has started in India, it has been the one thing people have been most concerned about. People do realise that getting the vaccination is crucial in keeping them and the others around them safe from this deadly virus. However, there is also a percentage of people who feel a little apprehensive about the efficiency and after-effects of the vaccine. 

The Health Ministry has already clarified that the vaccines have been brought for public administration only after confirming their safety. There are certain common side-effects that start to go away from the second day. You can encourage your clients to take the vaccinations, as it can be a prudent precautionary step. 

  • Development and efficiency of the vaccines

    Every vaccine that is produced serves a definite purpose. Along with the fragments of the disease-causing virus, the vaccine also contains ingredients that retain its safety and effectiveness. Just like medicines, each vaccine also goes through rigorous tests and investigations to ensure that it is safe for human beings.

    The vaccine is first administered on a small number of volunteers so that its safety, immunity and dose can be assessed. After these clinical trials, more steps are taken for public health and approvals. Once the vaccine is authorized it is turned into an immunization programme. 

    In the past, vaccines have been effective in controlling pandemics such as polio and smallpox. With 98% and 95% efficacy respectively. Covid-19 vaccines so far have had 70% efficacy. 

    Covaxin
    Covaxin, an inactive vaccine, has been made up of killed coronaviruses. As it is prepared on a safe and tested platform, it is safe when this is injected into the body. Developed by Bharat Biotech, an Indian biotech company and the clinical research body Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). A sample of coronavirus was used and when administered it helps in building up the count of antibodies in the human body. This allows the body to prepare a protective defence against an attack. 

    Common side effects of Covaxin:

    • Redness and pain at the injection site
    • Low-grade temperature
    • Headache
    • Weakness
    • Vomiting

    Covisheild
    Covisheild is an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. It is being produced locally by the Serum Institute of India which is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. Made from adenovirus, which is a weakened version of a common cold virus from chimpanzees. When the shot is injected, it makes the immune system produce antibodies that would attack any coronavirus infection. 

    If you or your client has got his/ her first shot, the next would be given after a period of 4 to 12 weeks. Covisheild has an efficacy of 70%, which can be above 90% when the first half dose is followed by the second half dose one month later.

    Common side effects of Covisheild:

    • Mild pain and warmth on injection site
    • Bruising
    • Fever
    • Nausea
    • Muscle ache 
  • Process for registration for the vaccine

    Covid-19 vaccine registration is now open to all adult citizens of India. The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and the National Health Authority has issued a user guide to help in registering and booking appointments. Using the information given below, you can guide your clients about the process for registration:

    The registration can be done via the website http://www.cowin.gov.in OR through the Aarogya Setu App. you must educate your clients that the slots are subject to availability. It may take some time to be able to register, and many people are finding it difficult to do so.

    Steps to follow:

    • Step 1:
      Visit the website http://www.cowin.gov.in or open the Aarogya Setu App
    • Step 2:
      When you enter your mobile number and click OTP, you would receive the OPT, one-time password on the mobile number entered via SMS
    • Step 3:
      The registration page would open. You would have to enter the required details. Inform your clients that they must keep the Photo ID Cards handy
    • Step 4:
      In case of a senior citizen’s registration, you need to remember to click the necessary option
    • Step 5:
      The system would now display account detail. One individual can link 4 more people to the mobile number that has been entered. To enter the details of the other person, click “Add”.
    • Step 6:
      You now need to book the appointment or vaccination. For which you would have to select a preferred date in the Calendar, under the “Action” button. Then search the vaccination centre closest to you. Select the State, district, Block and Pin code accordingly. Make sure to select the date and centre carefully. 
    • Step 7:
      The Appointment Confirmation page would open and show the details of the registration. Click “Confirm” if the details are correct. Click “Back” to edit the details
    • Step 8:
      Once the details are confirmed “Appointment Successful” Page would appear on the screen
  • Do’s and Don’ts of Vaccination

    People over the age of 45 are now eligible for the Covid vaccine. Though very few adverse events have been observed as an after-effect of the vaccine, it is important that certain do’s and don’ts are followed carefully.

    Before taking the vaccine:

    1. If you or your client was infected with Covid-19 in the last 4-6 weeks or received plasma therapy must avoid taking the vaccination
    2. If you have any medical allergies you must ensure discussing the same with your doctor
    3. Do not hide any medical condition before you get the vaccine
    4. Pregnant ladies/ lactating mothers can delay the vaccination after speaking to their doctor
    5. Speaking to your general physician would help in clearing any inhibitions that you may have
    6. Eat a light meal before the shot, carry a water bottle with you to stay well-hydrated
    7. Avoid consuming alcohol or any other intoxicating substance
    8. Wear a loose top/ shirt as you would get the shot on your upper arm
    9. Wear a mask when you go to the vaccine centre, carry a pocket sanitiser too
    10. Follow all covid protocols. Maintain social distancing, avoid touching other items around you
    11. Relax and stay positive

    After taking the vaccine:

    1. You may be asked to stay under observation for 30-45 minutes
    2. You may experience certain side effects, so it is better that you avoid driving yourself
    3. In case the discomfort/ pain is too much speak to your doctor
    4. It is absolutely necessary that you get the second dose within the stipulated time, as advised by your doctor
    5. There is no evidence of alcohol impairing the efficacy of the vaccine, but many do advise abstaining from alcohol immediately after the shot
    6. In case of pain/ fever after the vaccine, do not self-medicate. Speak to your doctor and then take a medicine
    7. Unless advised against, drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated
    8. The Covid-19 vaccine, just like other vaccines, does not guarantee immunity against the disease. It is imperative that you take all precautionary measures- face masks, physical distancing and hand hygiene
  • Corona Helplines in your city
    State/ Union Territory  Helpline Number
    Andaman & Nicobar 03192-232102
    Andhra Pradesh 0866-2410978
    Arunachal Pradesh 9436055743
    Assam 6913347770
    Bihar 104
    Chandigarh 9779558282
    Chhattisgarh 104
    Dadra Nagar Haveli 104
    Delhi 011-22307145
    Goa 104
    Gujarat 104
    Haryana 8558893911
    Himachal Pradesh 104
    Jammu 01912520982
    Jharkhand 104
    Karnataka 104
    Kashmir 01942440283
    Kerala 0471-2552056
    Ladakh 01982256462
    Lakshadweep 104
    Madhya Pradesh 104
    Maharashtra 020-26127394
    Manipur 3852411668
    Meghalaya 108
    Mizoram 102
    Nagaland 7005539653
    Odisha 9439994859
    Puducherry 104
    Punjab 104
    Rajasthan 0141-2225624
    Sikkim 104
    Tamil Nadu 044-29510500
    Telangana 104
    Tripura 0381-2315879
    Uttarakhand 104
    Uttar Pradesh 1800 180 5145
    West Bengal 1800 313 444 222
    033-23412600

    As we near the peak of the second Covid wave, the next phase of vaccination has also kicked off. After senior citizens and healthcare workers, adults till the age of 45 years are now getting their doses of the vaccines. Both the vaccines have been regarded to be safe for use, and hardly any severe reactions have been observed. Make sure you and your clients do away with the hesitancy and any misinformation and get their covid vaccines on time.

References:

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