Covid-19 has continued relentlessly in the country and the world for the last year and a half. Currently, the nation is battling the second wave of the pandemic, with over two lakh new Covid-19 cases being registered daily in India. Though the curve for the second wave is at its declining phase now, it has left us worrying and speculating the third wave. This could mean another surge in the number of infections at the national level.
However, there is good news about the Covid-19 vaccine. More than four crore Indians have been fully vaccinated and at least nineteen crores have received their first dose. The present eligibility status for the vaccines is eighteen and above and it includes lactating mothers. Also, India has reported clotting and bleeding in just 6 out of 10 million doses of Covishield administered. So, are you a Covid-19 survivor considering whether or not to take the vaccine? Read on to find your answers.
Why Is The Covid-19 Vaccine Necessary After Recovery?
Getting vaccinated is one of the surest ways for a person to gain immunity against Covid-19. But what about a person who has recently contracted the infection? Can they delay getting the vaccine jab or do they need to hurry?
Though the chances of being infected with Covid-19 twice are slim, getting the jab will effectively reduce such risks that can complicate your case. The vaccine also protects you from the mutant variants of the virus. Thus, even if you have caught the virus and are presently immune to it because of the presence of post-infection antibodies, the vaccine will help to further boost protection. Thus, it is wise not to ignore getting the vaccine.
Think of the vaccine as a way to get longer-lasting, consistent immunity against Covid-19 India because there is no concrete evidence on how long the post-infection immunity lasts. Besides, you need the Covid-19 vaccine post-infection because you might be an asymptomatic carrier and inadvertently spread the virus further.
When Should You Get Vaccinated If You’ve Had Covid-19 In The Past?
Vaccines for the general public are to be scheduled as and when available. But those who have recently tested positive or are in recovery after contracting the virus can delay the vaccination for several weeks. Past infections with coronavirus give natural immunity to a person for a while, though the exact timeframe is yet to be known.
As per the recommendations of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19, patients who have already been infected can take the vaccine three months after their recovery. Those who have been infected after getting their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine also need to wait for three months before getting their second dose.
The usual timeframe for the vaccine is also worth mentioning in this regard. In the case of Covishield, after four weeks have passed, the next dose can be taken whenever possible, but within eight weeks. The earlier limit for Covishield was six weeks, but it has now been extended to eight weeks. The second dose of Covaxin can be taken between four to six weeks after the first. It is essential to state that vaccine doses are safe no matter when you take them. However, the effects are not as pronounced if taken within a month of getting the first dose.
The country is also facing a shortage of vaccines despite doubling production recently. So, delaying your dose by three months is not an issue if you have been infected with the virus before.
Covid-19 Vaccine And Blood Clots: What Do You Need To Know?
The connection between the vaccine for Covid-19 and blood clots is a highly discussed topic at present. As per a report submitted by the National AEFI (Adverse Events Following Immunisation) Committee to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, there is a very minuscule but definitive risk of thromboembolic events following vaccination.
Instances of bleeding and clotting stand at 0.61 for every million doses, which the committee says is in line with the expected number of diagnoses of such conditions. In fact, it is way lower than the four cases per million reported by the Medical and Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) of the United Kingdom. In preparing the report, the AEFI committee completed an in-depth case review of 498 serious and severe events, of which 26 cases have been reported to be potentially thromboembolic.
The term thromboembolic refers to the formation of a clot in a blood vessel that might also break loose and be carried by the bloodstream to plug another vessel. The complications arising from this can be life-threatening, such as heart attack or stroke. The symptoms of the condition include:
- Chest pain
- Limb pain or swelling.
- Multiple small red spots or skin bruising in the area around the injection spot.
- Persistent abdominal pain (with or without vomiting).
- Seizures (with or without vomiting).
- Persistent vomiting without any evident reason.
- Blurred vision or pain in the eyes.
- Potential double vision.
- Changes in mental status.
- Confusion and anxiety.
- Depressed level of consciousness.
Such symptoms occur within twenty days of taking a vaccine shot, particularly of Covishield. AEFI reported that there were no potential thromboembolic events reported following the administration of the Covaxin vaccine.
However, it is also important to remember that Covishield has definite benefits in terms of preventing and reducing the severity of the infection. More than thirteen crore doses of Covishield have already been administered in the country.
It is important to take the vaccine after recovery, provided you follow the minimum waiting period of at least three months after recovery. The vaccines are safe and effective with a good immunogenic response against the Covid-19 virus. Be prudent and get your vaccine when your turn comes.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.