Who Should Or Should Not Take The Covid-19 Vaccine?
The need for vaccination has suddenly grown after the second wave of COVID-19 struck India badly. Over 12.3 million individuals enrolled till the first week of May 2021 through Arogya Setu and Co-win platforms in response to the starting of online enrollments for the COVID-19 vaccination. Nearly 150 million vaccine shots have been provided to date. These figures may appear to be big, but they cover hardly 11.5% of the population of India. The first stage of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in India covered citizens over 45 years of age and all frontline workers. Presently, it has been made available for all above 18 years from 1st May, in India. However, there still are several misconceptions and myths about who can or cannot take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Who should take the vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccination can keep you and others around you safe from coronavirus, especially individuals at a higher risk of serious illness from this virus. So, here is a list of all those who should take the vaccine.
- Individuals above 18 years
People who are above 18 are eligible to take the COVID-19 vaccine. However, research is going on for the development of vaccines for 2 years to 18 years old individuals as well. Soon, it will be available for all those below 18 years of age.
- Individuals with minute allergies
Individuals with serious allergic reactions to environmental triggers, insects, pets, latex, oral medications, and foods can get vaccinated.
- Individuals having a suppressed immunogenic system or chronic disease
The vaccine is effective and safe for individuals with chronic diseases, including kidney disease, liver disease, pulmonary, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, thyroid disease, immunosuppressive illness, and chronic infections. Such patients should get vaccinated against COVID-19 as they are the most defenceless to coronavirus. However, they need to specify at the vaccination site about their disease and the medicines they are consuming.
- Elderly and frail individuals
Elderly and frail people are at risk of becoming ill from coronavirus and can be harshly influenced by even mild sickness. So, such cases should be considered individually for COVID-19 vaccines.
- HIV infected individuals
This group of individuals should be guided by health professionals on the capacity for lowered immune responses before the vaccination.
- Individuals who were recently diagnosed with Coronavirus
Individuals who were recently diagnosed with coronavirus can get the first dose one month after the positive test or beginning symptoms. The second dose of vaccine should be taken after the completion of the isolation time.
- People who have had COVID-19 and have healed
Individuals who were treated for coronavirus with convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies should wait 3 months before getting a vaccination for COVID-19.
- Individuals who are planning to have a baby
Presently, there is no proof that COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility. There is no proof revealing a connection between vaccines, fertility, and menstruation. A lady can receive the COVID-19 vaccine during her menstruation also. However, medical researchers are still finding out any probable adverse effects, and the outcomes will be revealed as they become accessible. At present, all future moms and dads can receive the COVID-19 vaccine without any worries.
- Individuals with autoimmune disease
Individuals who have autoimmune diseases are at an increased risk of COVID-19, and so, vaccination is suggested in most cases. Consultation with your healthcare provider is recommended to discuss the benefits and risks of vaccination.
Who should not take the vaccine?
There are some side effects and risks of the coronavirus vaccine. Hence, here is a list of all those who should not take the vaccine.
- Pregnant women
Expectant women may take the vaccine if they are very likely to be in contact with COVID-19 positive individuals or at increased risk of exposure to the coronavirus. But vaccines presently being utilized in India are not suggested by Indian health authorities for expectant women.
- Breastfeeding mothers
According to protocols published by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, lactating mothers and pregnant women are exempted from taking the COVID-19 vaccine as they have not been included in medical experiments to test the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.
- Individuals with severe allergies
Individuals with a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to any element of injectable therapies or vaccines, pharmaceutical food items, or products should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
- People who are hospitalized or have an acute illness
Hospitalized individuals suffering from critical illnesses should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended to receive the vaccine 4 to 8 weeks after complete recovery.
- People with a blood disorder
Anyone who is having a blood disorder like thrombocytopenia should not take the COVID-19 vaccination.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Covid Vaccines?
- Which Covid-19 vaccine is more effective?
There is no supremacy of one COVID-19 vaccine over another. The safety and efficacy of both the Indian coronavirus vaccines are similar.
- Can a person receive one dose of one vaccine and a second dose of a different Covid-19 vaccine?
No. It is not recommended to receive two different vaccines.
- Can we work or drive after vaccination?
Yes. There is a negligible effect of the vaccine on a person’s ability to drive a car, however, it is recommended that you have someone with you in the car.
- Is it important to receive two doses of vaccine?
Yes. The possibilities of getting a COVID-19 infection are less for those who take two doses of the vaccine as compared to those who took a single dose.
- How much gap must be kept between two vaccine doses?
For Covaxin, a gap of 28 days needs to be maintained between two doses. However, an interval of 3 months to 4 months is suitable for taking two doses of Covishield.
- What changes generally take place in the body after the first and second dose?
The COVID-19 vaccine will create crucial antibodies to withstand coronavirus. The concentration of these antibodies will become more after the second dose. Hence, there will be fewer possibilities of getting any infection or even if an infection arises, it will not be severe.
Few people may feel mild after-effects of vaccination like fever, fatigue, heaviness or pain at the site of injection, body ache, rashes, itching, pain in abdomen, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, decreased appetite, headache, etc. These after-reactions are mild and subside by consuming drugs like paracetamol.
- Is it obligatory to put on a mask even after taking the complete dose of the vaccine?
Yes. No vaccine is 100% defensive against the virus. Hence, it is important to take all the necessary measures like no hugging, no handshaking, cleaning of hands frequently, maintaining social distancing, putting on a mask to cover the nose and mouth, etc., even after the complete dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is received.
- Is there any issue for alcoholics and smokers to receive vaccines?
No. Alcoholics and smokers can easily receive vaccines without any reluctance. No data reveal any risk for them. But it is suggested that alcohol and smoking should be avoided as it reduces immunity, and the possibility of getting an infection may be increased. Smoking or drinking alcohol is bad for your health, so it is better to quit such habits.
- Is it compulsory to get vaccinated?
No, vaccination or treatment is never compulsory. It’s completely your decision to receive it. It is highly suggested to receive the vaccine as it will provide you with the stamina to withstand the virus. Also, as more individuals get vaccinated, fewer will spread the coronavirus.
- Will you get to select which COVID-19 vaccine you take?
No, vaccines are given based on their availability and supply to many other states.
- Should an individual who has symptoms of COVID-19 be vaccinated?
The Health Ministry of India suggests waiting for at least 14 days after COVID symptoms are visible to receive the vaccine and avoid the spread of coronavirus at vaccination centres.
- Can adults taking drugs for diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and cancer take the vaccine?
Individuals possessing comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension, and cancer can take the vaccine after discussing it with your healthcare service provider. The Health Ministry website reads, “The Covid-19 vaccine is efficacious and safe in individuals with comorbidity. The maximum advantage of taking the vaccine is for those who have such health conditions.”
- Will the vaccine keep you safe from the mutant strains of the novel coronavirus?
Based on research, two COVID-19 vaccines are well-accessible in India and give enough protection against mutant strains of the coronavirus.
- Is the vaccine effective in people with weakened immune systems?
Specific safety and effectiveness of data are not yet accessible for individuals with suppressed immune systems due to chronic illness or medications. Individuals who are immunocompromised are suggested to take the vaccine in most cases as they are at a higher risk for serious complications from coronavirus.
We can thus conclude that effective and safe vaccines are game-changing equipment, but for the foreseeable future, we should continue avoiding crowds, physically distancing ourselves, ensuring good ventilation indoors, cleaning our hands, and wearing masks.
Getting vaccinated does not mean that we can throw awareness and caution out of the window and put ourselves and others in danger, especially because experimentation is still ongoing into how much Covid-19 vaccines keep us safe not only against illness but also against transmission and infection.