After a long battle, the presence of two vaccinations against COVID-19 in India finally offers us some hope. Nations around the world have begun administering the COVID vaccine at quite a rapid pace. The quick development has come as a surprise to many, given how vaccine development usually takes years.
The quick development has led to many questions and a lot of misinformation. Since there’s a lot we still don’t know, does it mean the vaccine is safe to take? We at Onsurity want to help clear up any confusion. This blog is dedicated to separating fact from fiction, giving you the truth about COVID vaccine you need to know.
Please do read it carefully and share it with your friends and family. We will be updating this blog with the latest developments, so do be sure to check back again.
Truths About COVID Vaccine
There are currently two vaccines approved for use in India – Covaxin and Covishield. Both vaccines need to be taken in two doses, around four weeks apart. It is vital to get both doses of the same vaccine.
Since there are cases of reinfection, it is advisable for those who have recovered from COVID-19 to also get vaccinated. That way, you can develop a better immune response, reducing your chances of getting hospitalized if you get infected again. This is an important truth about covid vaccine.
Right now, healthcare workers and other essential workers are eligible to get the COVID vaccine. That includes doctors, nurses, municipal workers, police, armed forces, paramilitary personnel, and prison staff.
If you belong to those categories, we urge you to get vaccinated now. You should receive an SMS if you are eligible, with your nearest facility mentioned. Of course, not all eligible individuals can get vaccinated. According to guidelines published by the Union Health Ministry, the following people are advised not to get vaccinated:
- Pregnant women and those breastfeeding
- Those who suffer from allergic reactions to an ingredient of the vaccine
- People suffering from bleeding disorders
- Those who are on blood thinning medication or immunosuppressants.
Once essential workers are vaccinated, then people above 50, followed by those below 50 with chronic illness are next in line. While the government will bear the costs for frontline workers, others will have to pay for the vaccine. Covishield costs ₹200 per dose and Covaxin ₹206 per dose.
When you are eligible, you will have to register with the Co-WIN app to receive your shot. Before you do however, here’s everything you need to know about the COVID vaccine.
Truth About COVID Vaccine – Covaxin
This made in India vaccine has been developed by Bharat Biotech. It is made up of dead COVID-19 cells, which when injected, push the body to create antibodies. Since it is a dead virus, it is completely safe to take. The controversy around Covaxin is that the COVID vaccine has not completed the necessary stage 3 trials.
This stage is important as it determines the efficacy, or how well the vaccine protects against COVID-19 in a large population. The Bharat biotech COVID vaccine was approved for “emergency use” by the government without that data. That means, there is a chance it won’t really protect against COVID-19.
There are also some side effects you need to know. People who have been vaccinated have shown signs of body aches, headache, fever, rashes, nausea and vomiting. These side effects are normal, and nothing to worry about. But there is a possibility that some people might face more severe issues, like a difficulty in breathing, swelling of face/throat, fast heartbeat, rashes all over the body and dizziness and weakness. If you have such effects, it is wise not to get the second dose without consulting a doctor.
AstraZenica’s Covishield is made from a weakened version of the common cold virus. It has been modified to resemble COVID-19 but won’t cause the illness. This COVID vaccine has shown efficacy results of up to 90% in international trials, but there is no data about its efficacy in India.
Those who get Covishield are also likely to develop some body aches, fever, fatigue, itching, swelling and nausea. Again, these side effects are normal and nothing to worry about. In case the effects do not go away, consult a doctor before getting the second shot.
There have been some cases where people have died after taking the vaccine. Right now, studies have shown no deaths caused by the COVID vaccine. Most deaths around the world are linked to pre-existing diseases, old age and other health issues, rather than the vaccine itself.
A COVID Vaccine Isn’t the End
Getting the COVID vaccine is not a free pass to go out without precautions, you and those around you are still at risk. It can take between two to three weeks after the second dose to build immunity. That’s why the second dose is important.
We also do not know if the COVID vaccine stops people from spreading the infection. Right now, we know it only prevents serious illness. That is why you need to take precautions even after getting vaccinated. If you aren’t careful, you could spread COVID-19 to your friends and family, putting them at risk. That’s why you still need to wear a mask, maintain social distancing, wash your hands and avoid going out wherever possible.
There’s also a question around how long the immunity lasts. Some vaccines offer lifetime immunity while others need to be taken multiple times for the same effect. So, what about COVID-19? The only way we will know is if enough people get vaccinated giving scientists the valuable data they need.
The only way the pandemic ends is if enough people get vaccinated, and we achieve “heard immunity” I.e., when enough people are immune for the disease to no longer be a pandemic. Then only can we return to a pre-COVID world, where we go out without masks and the need for social distancing.
We urge you to avoid spreading fake news and rumours around the vaccines. It is always a good practice to check with sources like the CDC, WHO or the Union Health Ministry before sharing any information related to COVID-19 or the COVID vaccine.
The COVID vaccine is safe and does not cause death. It can cause severe adverse effects, but that is only in a small percentage of the population. Wait for your turn and get vaccinated when it comes. Do not delay or avoid the vaccine, as you are putting others at risk by doing so.