Though it is not mandatory to get the COVID jab, it is THE most effective solution against the pandemic, yet!
The third and the largest phase of the nationwide coronavirus inoculation drive has set pace in the country, expanding the benefit of the COVID-19 vaccination for all adults. All Indian citizens over 18 years of age, are now eligible to receive either of two permitted vaccines- COVAXIN or Covishield. As more people are now included under the ambit of the world's largest immunity drive, it is essential to reiterate the importance of the jab and the ABCs of post-vaccination care.
Taking care after vaccination is as essential as the vaccine itself!
It has to be understood that the COVID-19 vaccine does not cause infection in the body and simply initiates a rapid immunogenic response to stimulate antibody production against the virus. As a result, beneficiaries may experience certain side effects but do not panic. The prevalence of the following symptoms, is a sign that your body is fighting to build immune protection:
- Some pain, swelling and redness on the arm where you received the vaccine
- Chills or mild fever
- Joint pain or muscle ache
These side effects typically last only a few days. You can take any prescribed paracetamol tablet to tackle the side effects. Make sure you follow the dosage instructions by the pharmacist or provider.
After receiving the COVID jab, stay at the vaccination centre for an observation period of 15 to 30 minutes. This is just a precautionary measure that may help you, if your body reacts adversely to the dose. Notify the attendant in charge immediately if you notice the following signs:
- Severe allergic reaction
- Wheezing, difficulties in breathing or shortness of breath
Ensure proper care!
While developing either one or a combination of the above-listed symptoms isn't usually fatal, they surely reduce your potential of carrying out your normal routine activities. Make sure you are consuming a lot of fluids. This helps the body get over fever, muscle aches and swelling, redness, pain or a tingling sensation at the site of injection and so on.
If your symptoms continue for over one week, tell the health workers who administered you the vaccine. You can also refer to a doctor if the symptoms intensify. Several people may face immense muscular discomfort in the arm where they received the COVID jab. This can be reduced by applying a cool, clean and wet washcloth over the area.
Get ready for the second dose
Both vaccines available in India, COVAXIN and Covishield, are a two-dose programme, with a gap of 4 to12 weeks. Make sure you ask the health workers to assign you the date of the second dose, before you leave your first vaccination appointment. Without getting the second jab, the inoculation activity is incomplete, which defeats the purpose of the first dose.
Do not get perturbed by the symptoms you experience during the first dose of the vaccination. The second dose is a must unless a health official, vaccinator or your doctor tells you otherwise!
Stay alert! The caution has not subsided
It is crucial to understand the vaccination is a shield against the COVID attack but does not offer cent percent immunity against the coronavirus. While it definitely helps the body fight the virus symptoms and curb infection, health experts from all around the world have stated that you may not be protected from the virus until 2 weeks after jab 2.
Do not put your guard down against the virus. Make sure you follow all COVID appropriate behaviour and maintain prime standards of hygiene and sanitization.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser— as often as you can
- Keep at least 1-metre distance between yourself and others
- Meet people in well ventilated or outdoor spaces
- Wear a mask when you can't keep your distance from others or when at a public space
While the vaccination is safe for all, pregnant ladies or lactating mothers should not get the dose until advised otherwise by their doctors. For specific vaccine-related questions, you can also check out the fact sheets of the COVISHIELD and COVAXIN vaccines listed below.
~above listed guidelines/precautions have been prescribed by the UNICEF