COVID-19 vaccination

Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine

There is no doubt in the fact that COVID-19 vaccination is one of the best weapons for defeating the COVID-19 coronavirus. However, many people still have doubts regarding them and rightly so.

Here is all you need to know about the advantages of the COVID-19 vaccinations, how they work, their potential side effects, the necessity of continuing to follow precautions and other such frequently asked questions.

Advantages of COVID-19 vaccine
How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
Side-effects of COVID-19 vaccine
Should precautions against COVID-19 be taken even after getting vaccinated?
Can pregnant and lactating mothers take the COVID-19 vaccine?
Can a COVID-19 vaccine protect against all COVID-19 variants?

Advantages of COVID-19 vaccine:

A COVID-19 vaccination can:

  • Prevent you from contracting COVID-19, and even if not then prevent you from becoming very ill or dying as a result of COVID-19.
  • Restrict you from infecting others with the COVID-19 virus.
  • Help in building herd immunity.
  • Prevent the virus from spreading and reproducing, thus eventually wiping it out of the world.

How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

India is majorly administering two vaccines at present namely Covishield and Covaxin. Covishield or AstraZeneca is a live vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India. It is made from a weakened version of adenovirus, which is extracted from the strain of chimpanzees. It acts as a carrier for the spike protein which looks similar to that around the covid-19 coronavirus. 

The human body recognizes it as a COVID-19 infection and thus starts producing antibodies against it. So when the human body is actually infected by covid-19, there are already antibodies present in the body that provide a protective shield against the virus. In such a case, either very mild symptoms appear or it becomes an asymptomatic case.

Covaxin is a killed vaccine produced by Bharat Biotech. In this vaccine too, adenovirus is used but it is killed. This killed adenovirus acts as a carrier for the spike protein and the same process carries on as in Covishield. 

Learn more about covid-19 vaccination here:

Side-effects of COVID-19 vaccine

You may experience some side effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. These are common signals that your body is preparing to defend itself against the virus. After administering the COVID-19 vaccine, you may experience minor side effects such as fatigue, headache, cold, cough, chills and pain in the area where you have been injected, but these usually subside after a few days.

Although serious side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are rare, they can occur in some cases and may require emergency care. Possible symptoms of a serious illness include shortness of breath, chest pain, stomach ache, headache, blurred vision, bruising or red spots on the skin, swelling in the legs, etc.

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Should precautions against COVID-19 be taken even after getting vaccinated?

People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after getting a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But even in that case, it is important to follow certain precautions such as wearing a mask on planes, buses, trains and other public places. 

You may also need to wear a mask if your immunity is weak due to certain prescribed medications that you take. Also, even though you are vaccinated, you should get yourself tested if you have come in contact with COVID-19 positive patients.

Can pregnant and lactating mothers take the COVID-19 vaccine?

As per the Niti Aayog, vaccines that have been approved by the government namely Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik V and Moderna are safe for lactating mothers and pregnant women. Although an advisory with regards to their vaccination is yet to be released.

Can a COVID-19 vaccine protect against all COVID-19 variants?

The COVID-19 vaccines were created on the basis of S protein before the mutations found in the variations were discovered. Despite that fact, COVID-19 vaccinations have been found to decrease the effectiveness of all the variations of COVID-19.

Booster injections are also being developed by vaccine makers to increase protection against variations. However, research studies regarding the efficacy of vaccine protection against the new COVID-19 variants are still underway.

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