COVID VACCINATION FACTS
COVID VACCINATION FACTS
1. How does vaccine act?
Vaccination is much safer way of producing antibodies by body without suffering from illness. We expose the body to weak form of virus or its components which will make our body’s immune system to produce antibodies which is specific against covid antigen, so whenever near later the body is exposed to natural infection the preformed antibody acts against the infectious agent and offers protection.
2. What are the authorized covid-19 vaccines in India?
Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik-V. Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine(killed virus), covishield and sputnik are viral vector vaccine, which uses modified version of different virus to carry covid spike protein to offer protection.
3. What is the recommended dosage interval for all approved Indian vaccines?
Recommended dosage interval for covishield – 12-16 weeks
Recommended dosage interval for covaxin – 4 weeks
Recommended dosage interval for Sputnik-V-3 weeks
4. Are covid-19 vaccine interchangeable?
COVID-19 vaccines are NOT interchangeable with all available recent evidence. Currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines require two doses. Both doses of the series should be completed with the same product.
5. Do those who have recovered from covid-19 need vaccine?
Yes, irrespective of a person whether he is infected or not he needs vaccine, since antibody acquired by natural infection will vary between persons and duration of how long it lasts is unsure. So everyone needs vaccine though the timing of administration of vaccine post infection should be a minimum of 90 days. Those who have already taken single dose vaccine and got infected with covid should take 2nd dose after an interval of 60 days.
6. How long does vaccine immunity lasts?
This is too early to say how long vaccine immunity lasts and there are ongoing research on that. Though like seasonal flu, covid may need boosters providing the virus is undergoing a lot of mutations Awaiting further evidence to conclude.
7. Which is more worrying the vaccine side effects or getting infected with covid ?
Getting infected with covid is more worrying. Side effects to vaccine are very minimal which is fever, body aches and pain at vaccine site. Rarely severe allergic reactions and complications related to blood clotting may occur which is in 1:200000- 1:300000 people based on different vaccine which is very negligible compared to mortality to covid which is 1-2:100 covid infected person. Vaccinated person getting severe covid is almost nil when compared to non-vaccinated person who has 20% risk of getting severe covid.
8. Should I consult a doctor before vaccine?
YES, Vaccinating team in every hospital includes a doctor and only after their detailed history and examination you are safe to get vaccinated.
9. After getting vaccinated can we be still active carriers?
After vaccination we can still be active carriers of the virus, which means even though we are protected from virus to attack our body we can actively spread the virus to other non-immune persons. So wearing a mask is mandatory if are in crowd of non-immune persons.
10. Is it wise to wait for other non-Indian vaccines like Pfizer / J&J or to get vaccinated with available one?
In current situation only 3% of Indian population are completely vaccinated. For us to prevent future waves or atleast reduce the intensity of future waves we need to attain something called herd immunity which means enough persons should be immune to a disease so that it no longer can spread easily. For this a lot of people needs to get vaccinated. So its wise to get vaccinated with available vaccine rather than to wait for others which will delay attainment of herd immunity and also will make country vulnerable to further waves in future.
11. What does efficacy of vaccine means and what are efficacy of different vaccine available in India?
Efficacy of vaccine means how effective is the vaccine in reduced the disease in vaccinated persons. For example if a vaccine is said to have 90% efficacy it means there is 90% reduction of cases among vaccinated people.
Efficacy reports of studies shows Covishield has 70-80% efficacy, Covaxin has 78% and Sputnik-v has 91.6% efficacy.
12. Predictions about 3rd wave to affect children in big number?
The percentage of children affected in first wave was 4-5%, those affected in second wave was 5-6%, provided if now lot of above 18 are vaccinated so there is a lot of possibility that children <18 will be the vulnerable group for next wave which is predicted to be about 25%. But this doesn’t mean by any ways that disease severity will be more for children. Provided from the data of previous waves with children where they were not affected severely since the viral receptors being less developed for them we hope that future waves too won’t cause severe illness although we have to cautious and much prepared since it’s a rapidly mutating virus and very unpredictable. Its better for us to be prepared with infrastructures to handle.
13. Vaccination plan for children in India
There is no current vaccine who has completed safety trials for children in India at present so we are not approved vaccinate children under 18. Covaxin and Sputnik-V are currently under trial for pediatric populations and we are expecting the results soon for us to vaccinate them.
14. Can we interchange between first and second dose of vaccine among different brands for purpose of international travel and vaccine certificates?
At present there is no data that interchanging vaccine brands for 1st and 2nd dose. There is ongoing UK trail among vaccine interchange and the results are awaited. In future in case we need booster doses and incase the vaccine trails are safe then we may vaccinate with vaccine which is certified for international travel.
15. Can we vaccinate Pregnant and lactating mother?
Countries like US, UK and China are vaccinating pregnant and lactating mothers and there are no safety issues. Indian vaccines have not been trailed on these group so we don’t have safety data at present, we have to wait for further data to decide. Recently Indian government had included lactating mothers as vaccine recipients. So lactating mothers can be vaccinated according to current guidelines and we have to wait for vaccination in pregnant mothers.
16. Should I do any blood investigations before taking vaccine?
There is no indications to do any routine blood tests before vaccination. Your reporting vaccination centre doctor will attend to your details and incase for a few people on blood thinners unmonitored for long duration may need some bloods other than that we don’t need for any investigations unless the vaccinating doctor feels so.
17. Can heart patient get vaccine?
Yes, absolutely patient with cardiac, renal and respiratory co-morbidies are at the priority list to take vaccination as they are at high risk of getting severe infection.
18. Can vaccines be given to those patients on blood thinners?
Vaccines can be given to individuals with blood thinners. Doctors will have to check a few bloods to assure if he not at risk of bleeding. Those patients can be vaccinated with fine needle followed by firm pressure. So vaccine is not a contraindication for patients on blood thinners.
19. Can vaccination be given to those with bleeding disorder?
Vaccine can be given to those with bleeding disorder preferable shortly after their regular cycle of treatment to prevent any bleeding episodes.
20. First dose and second dose of medicine are the same one or different?
For vaccines like covishield and covaxin both doses are same but for vaccine like Sputnik-v 1st and 2nd dose are a bit different.
21. Should vaccination be taken only after food or in empty stomach
There is no specific relation between food intake and vaccine ,there is no difference in efficacy of vaccine before or after food but its preferable to get a vaccine after food so that the person is feeling better and to avoid other possible complications due to low sugars in blood.
22. what is the interval for alcohol consumption before or after vaccine?
There is no current evidence that alcohol reduces antibody formation, but its better not to overdo alcohol consumption for at least few days since some of symptoms which is related to vaccine side effects can overlap with alcohol intoxication and there may be undue confusion.
23. Will vaccination minimise the chances of getting infected from black fungus?
Yes, since most of black fungus infection occurs in covid infected persons its logically yes since vaccine provides protection from covid and it also protects from post-coved complications like black fungus.
24. Why there are no oral vaccination like polio for covid?
We have only 2 non-covid oral vaccine in India at present and they both are made of live virus. For covid we don’t have any live vaccines till now and that’s the reason we have not come up with oral vaccine.
25. Is spike protein toxic to human body and will spike protein in vaccine affect brain and fertility?
There have been a doubt that spike protein resembles placental protein named syncitin and so antibody against spike protein is found to destroy placental protein too..But on protein sequencing it has been found that a very small unit of placental protein resembles spike protein which doesn’t have to do anything with placental protein destruction and therefore infertility.
26. Do we need to do antibody test before taking covid vaccine?
No, we don’t need antibody test before covid vaccine. The levels of antibody are not directly proportional to the protective response and even for those affected by covid the natural immunity starts weaning after a period of time though it varies according to person affected and severity of illness. So we cant conclude anything based on it and its not recommended to do test before vaccinating.
27. Can people undergoing cardiac surgeries or any other major surgeries be vaccinated?
For those who have undergone major surgeries or underwent hospitalization in ICU for medical illness needs a gap of 1-2 months before getting vaccinated.
28. Can I donate blood after taking covid vaccine?
Yes, you can donate blood after 15 days of taking covid vaccine.
29. Any medications to be avoided after vaccine?
Please avoid self medications and over the counter medications without doctors prescription after covid vaccine. Any medications which the person is already on should be discussed with doctor during vaccination and continue according to advise.
30.What are the common myths regarding vaccines?
Dr.PRIYADHARSHNI, DCH, DNB(PEAD)
SHANMUGA HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED,SALEM
*This document is prepared based on current level of evidence and recommendations a
few of this may be subject to variations in future.