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COVID-19 VaccinationWhat You Need To Know

Covid 19 Vaccination What You Need To Know

Pandemic has affected virtually every aspect of our lives, causing global economies to stall, changing our working style, ways of interaction with our loved ones, and stretching healthcare systems to their limit. States have been forced to implement harsh restrictions on human activity in order to stop the spread of the virus, and the list will go on and on.

Amid the chaos, the COVID-19 vaccine is our ray of hope. In India, numerous vaccines were granted emergency approval and have already been distributed since early 2021.

Up till June 01, 2021, only 12.29%2,169.591 million people had received a vaccine in India. Hopefully that things will soon return to 'normal'. Having said that, people various questions related to COVID-19 vaccination. Without further ado, let us get all the important questions on COVID-19 vaccination answered!

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What types of COVID-19 vaccines are available in India?

India began its vaccination drive with two vaccines namely Covishield and Covaxin both of which are produced in India. Now, there are more vaccines like - Sputnik V and Moderna vaccine that the Indian government has approved for emergency use10.

Who can take the COVID-19 vaccine?

In India, the government has selected the priority groups based on potential vaccine supply that will be vaccinated as a priority since they are at higher risk. The first group includes healthcare and frontline workers. The second group to receive the COVID-19 vaccine was the persons over 60 years of age and persons between 45 and 59 years of age with comorbid conditions. From April 1st, 2021, People above the age of 45 years (born before Jan 01, 1977) are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. From May 1, 2021, all eligible citizens over the age of 18 can receive the COVID-19 vaccine5.

Who should not take COVID-19 Vaccine?

Here are the guidelines for individuals who cannot/should not take the COVID-19 vaccine6:

  • A person under 18 is not allowed to take the vaccine.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine should not be administered to pregnant or lactating women. It’s because, Pregnant, lactating, or expecting mothers have not been part of any vaccine trials
  • The vaccine should not be administered to anyone who had an anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of COVID-19
  • People who have a history of anaphylaxis, allergic reactions to vaccines or injectable, pharmaceuticals, or food items ought not to take the vaccine.

What is the number of vaccine doses that need to be taken? How long do I have to wait between doses?

Here's the number of vaccine doses that need to be taken along with the time intervals:

  • Covishield - The Covishield vaccination course consists of two separate doses of 0.5 ml each. The second dose should be administered between 12-16 weeks after the first dose, as per the latest Union Health Ministry guidelines. The Centre has allowed students who have to undertake foreign travel for education to receive the second dose within a gap of 28 days.10
  • Covaxin - Covaxin is administered in two doses given at an interval of 28 days or four weeks.10
  • Sputnik V - The Sputnik V vaccine is administered in two doses at a gap of 21 days.10
  • Moderna Vaccine - The Moderna vaccine is administered in two doses (100 µg, 0.5 ml each) at a gap of 28 days.10

Is COVID-19 vaccine safe? What is the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines?

When we say a certain vaccine is 80 percent effective, it means that vaccine reduces the chances of COVID-19 disease by 80 percent. There is a difference between infection and disease. If a person has contracted COVID infection but is asymptomatic, this person only has an infection. However, if the person has symptoms due to the infection, this person has COVID disease. All vaccines in the world prevent COVID disease. There is very little chance of severe disease after vaccination while the chances of death after vaccination are negligible. If the efficacy of a vaccine is 80 percent, then 20 percent of the vaccinated people may contract mild COVID12.

The vaccines available in India are capable of reducing the spread of the Corona Virus. If 60%-70% people are vaccinated, the spread of the virus be checked12.

The following is the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines available in India:

  • Studies of the efficacy of Covishield vaccine have been wide-ranging. According to AstraZeneca11, primary analysis of Phase 3 clinical trials show that the vaccine had an efficacy of 76 per cent against symptomatic Covid-19. With an inter-dose interval of 12 weeks or more, vaccine efficacy increased to 82 per cent10.
  • Data from the Phase 3 trials of Covaxin show the vaccine is 77.8 per cent effective. Preliminary Phase 3 trial data, however, put the efficacy rate at 81 per cent11.
  • According to results published in The Lancet, the efficacy of Sputnik V was found to be 91.6 per cent after Phase 3 trials11.
  • The Moderna vaccine has been shown to have an efficacy of 94.1 per cent in protecting against Covid-19, starting 14 days after the first dose. Moderna has also stated that its vaccine is 100 per cent effective for adolescents in the age group of 12-17 years11.

What are the side effects of Covishield and Covaxin?

Some of the common side effects include a mild fever, pain, etc. at the site of injection7.

Immediate and Delayed Side Effects

  • Covishield - Some mild symptoms may occur, such as injection site tenderness, injection site pain, headache, fatigue, myalgia, malaise, pyrexia, chills, and arthralgia, nausea. Rare cases of demyelinating disorders have been reported after vaccination with this vaccine, but no causal relationship has been established4.
  • Covaxin - Some mild AEFIs symptoms may include injection site pain, headache, fatigue, fever, body aches, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, dizziness-giddiness, sweating, cold, cough and injection site swelling. Other serious vaccine-related adverse effects have not been reported4.

What if the individual does not experience any side-effect? Does it mean the vaccination is not working?

Most people do not face any side-effect after COVID vaccination but it does not mean that vaccines are not efficient. Only 20% - 30% people are going to experience fever after vaccination. Some people may get fever after first dose and not have any fever after second dose and vice-versa. It varies from person to person and it is highly unpredictable12.

Will I get infected by COVID-19 after taking the vaccination?

Yes, the COVID-19 infection may occur even after taking both the doses of vaccine. But, in such cases, the disease will certainly be mild and the chances of a serious illness practically become nil. Further, just to avoid such an occurrence, people are being told to follow COVID appropriate behavior also after vaccination. People can transmit the virus, which means that the virus may pass through you to family members and others. Had the vaccination of people aged above 45 years not been done, then death rates and burden on hospitals would have been unimaginable. Now, that the second wave is on the downslide, credit for it goes to vaccination12.

What steps should be followed before taking the COVID-19 vaccination?

Once you have registered yourself and got an appointment for vaccination, here are some simple and valuable tips for you13:

  • Do not take the vaccine on an empty stomach. Eat well as you go for your vaccine dose. Include leafy vegetables, food rich in antioxidants that help boost immunity.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  • Get good, peaceful sleep at night. The role of a good night’s sleep in boosting immunity is scientifically proven.
  • If you regularly take over-the-counter aspirin or pain killers, you may continue. However, if you want to avoid side effects from the vaccine, do not take these medicines before taking the vaccine.
  • Avoid alcohol intake as it may dehydrate you.
  • Inform people at work regarding your unavailability and plan your tasks accordingly so that you are not stressed about work as you visit the vaccination center.
  • Be prepared to take any vaccine available at the center at the given time. Remember, all vaccines have been proven safe and effective.
  • Wear a sleeveless or short-sleeved shirt or dress to facilitate getting the injection on your arm.
  • Cancel your appointment if you notice any COVID-like symptoms. You can rebook after 14 days of experiencing such symptoms. Talk to your doctor about this.
  • Carry the ID you used for registration. Visit the center wearing a mask and maintain physical distance. Note the type of vaccine you received to book the second dose.

What to do post taking the COVID-19 vaccination?

Here are some valuable tips that will help you after vaccination13:

  • After vaccination, stay seated at the vaccination center for 15-30 minutes. Health workers will monitor you for immediate reactions. Report if you feel dizzy or have nausea, vomiting, or any allergic reaction.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and keep your body hydrated after the vaccine dose.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol or smoking.
  • Soothe your arm. You may place a cool or wet washcloth on the area.
  • Swing your vaccinated arm to calm the inflammation.
  • Be prepared for some minor side effects as your body builds immune protection.
  • Take Paracetamol if you have any of the above symptoms. If they last for more than a week, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Wear light clothes.
  • Download your vaccination certificate, mark your calendar for the second dose of the vaccine, and schedule an appointment.
  • After the second dose of the vaccine, you may experience similar symptoms seen after the first dose. If the side effects persist for more than 1-2 days, call your doctor.
  • Remember that the antibodies that develop after the second dose of the vaccine reach a protective level after 15 days. Hence, be careful; do not relax the preventive measures.
  • If you wish to take any other vaccine for a different medical condition, maintain a gap of at least 14 days after taking the Covid-19 vaccine.
  • It is also important to discuss with your doctor if you have been on immunosuppressant’s, such as methotrexate. Your doctor might put the medication on hold for two weeks after the Covid-19 vaccine.

How to keep yourself and your family safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic?

Coronavirus is wreaking havoc in entire world which has already killed a lot of people. In challenging times like these when the deadly virus has spread across the globe, the importance of Insurance increases manifolds. If you have a COVID-specific insurance policy, it will shield you from unexpected hospital and medical bills in case you get ill. Many a times when the infection gets out of control, it mostly results in a fatality. A COVID insurance policy will not give death benefits.

It becomes very important that each one of us has some kind of policy which covers our lives too. Life insurance policy is the best option here. It comes in various types like term plan, ULIP, money back plan, endowment plan etc. A life insurance plan won’t give you benefit in case you are hospitalized but it will act as a boon for the family in case of insured person’s sudden demise.

A person should cover his risk by buying a life insurance policy.


  • https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSelection=true&pickerSort=desc&pickerMetric=total_vaccinations&Metric=People+vaccinated&Interval=Cumulative&Relative+to+Population=false&Align+outbreaks=false&country=~IND
  • https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSelection=true&pickerSort=desc&pickerMetric=total_vaccinations&Metric=People+vaccinated&Interval=Cumulative&Relative+to+Population=true&Align+outbreaks=false&country=~IND
  • https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/covaxin-vs-covishield-open-market-price-efficacy-second-dose-timing-101619316091524.html#:~:text=about%20these%20vaccines%3A-,Efficacy,-Both%20the%20vaccines
  • https://www.mohfw.gov.in/covid_vaccination/vaccination/common-side-effects-aefi.html
  • https://www.mohfw.gov.in/covid_vaccination/vaccination/faqs.html#who-will-get-the-vaccine
  • https://www.deccanherald.com/national/heres-who-shouldnt-be-taking-covid-19-vaccine-939263.html
  • https://www.unicef.org/india/coronavirus/covid-19/faq#:~:text=common%20side%20effects%20in%20some%C2%A0individuals%20could%20be%20mild%20fever%2C%20pain%2C%20etc
  • https://www.gavi.org/vaccineswork/how-long-does-immunity-last-after-covid-19-vaccination#:~:text=The%20good%20news%20is%20that,to%20research%20published%20in%20Science
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_vaccination_in_India#:~:text=throughout%202021.%5B87%5D-,Vaccine%20on%20order,-%5Bedit%5D
  • https://www.indiatoday.in/coronavirus-outbreak/story/covid-vaccines-india-price-availability-dose-gap-1821594-2021-07-01#modernadoses
  • https://www.astrazeneca.com/media-centre/press-releases/2021/covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca-confirms-protection-against-severe-disease-hospitalisation-and-death-in-the-primary-analysis-of-phase-iii-trials.html
  • https://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/industry/atleast-six-different-types-of-covid-19-vaccine-to-be-available-in-india-soon/83841720
  • https://pharmeasy.in/blog/what-to-do-before-during-and-after-getting-the-covid-19-vaccine

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