PharmEasy Blog

Is It Advisable To Wear A Face Mask While Running Outdoors?

The rapid spike in the COVID-19 cases has made us more conscious about our health. People around the globe are taking precautionary steps to avoid themselves from getting infected from COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2). But those people who are eager to get back to fitness are sure to ask this most important question; shall I exercise with a face mask on?  

While social distancing and maintaining good health and hygiene is necessary; wearing a mask has been made compulsory in almost every public place. If you run outdoors, remember the importance of social distancing and avoiding others. It is essential to maintain at least 10 to 12 feet of separation during a run, because you’re breathing heavily as you work out. Runners’ “breath cloud” may contain more of the virus. (wearing a face mask protects us and others from droplet spread, even from asymptomatic spread).

Should I wear a Face Mask while running?  

You should wear a face mask when you’re running in an area where social distancing is hard to maintain. If you’re going to be passing people in and out of crowds, you’ll want to wear a mask. Keep in mind that wearing a face mask is not a substitute for physical distancing.

But if you’re running alone in your neighbourhood where you occasionally see another runner or a walker, it’s likely that you don’t need to wear a face covering. Instead, be mindful about crossing the street to avoid getting too close or give the other person at least six feet while passing.

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How will the face mask affect my run?

Running or jogging with a face mask is going to decrease your airflow, making it a little harder to breathe. It won’t  decrease your oxygen or retain carbon dioxide, but it will probably impact your performance or pace.

This means that you might have a harder time catching your breath if you’re running with a face mask. You might also feel more fatigued quicker than you normally would, even if you’re in pretty good shape, you might need to modify the intensity of your run.

It is most important that you should monitor how you feel or if you’re having any unusual symptoms.  

Be on the lookout for:  

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If you’re experiencing any difficulty, find a safe place off the trail or out of the way to distance yourself from others and remove your mask. Sit down or walk until you catch your breath and feel better. If you continue to experience any difficulty, call your doctor immediately.

Criteria to look for in a running mask

Running in a mask presents you with an unpleasant sensation of a damp piece of fabric rubbing against your face. A sweaty or wet mask is going to be less effective at filtering, breathing and more uncomfortable.

Look for workout masks that are made with a moisture-wicking fabric but be mindful that it’s not too thick or restrictive. Most running specific face masks come as a traditional shaped mask with strings or elastic that goes around your head.

It’s also important to keep your running mask clean and remember when wearing a mask, always wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before removing it. A properly fitted mask will reduce the need for you to fuss around with it and touch your face.

When wearing a mask, remember the following points:

  1. Do not touch the mask.
  2. Dispose of single-use masks after use and wash reusable masks regularly.
  3. Ensure your mask is well fitted, so exhaled air does not reach your eyes.

If you are concerned about your health and do not want to work-out with mask outdoors, then here are a few tips that you must keep in mind –

1. Underlying health condition: If you are suffering from some underlying health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, it is highly not recommended to wear a mask during exercise.

2. Do not push your limit: Do not go overboard when exercising. If you start feeling weak or tired, then stop immediately.

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3. The next best thing is to simply listen to your body – If you experience light-headedness, dizziness, extreme shortness of breath or numbness, you need to sit down and take a break.

4. Pick times and routes that are less likely to be busy. Try running earlier in the morning or during your lunch break to avoid the crowds. Also, try to avoid running in a busy park or sidewalk. This will allow you more open space, a change of scenery and less frustration trying to dodge others.

5. Don’t run directly behind anyone: Whether you are running with a mask on or off, it is best to avoid running directly behind anyone even if you are more than 6 feet away. Since you will be running into the person’s slipstream it is more likely for you to come into contact with their exhaled air and droplets. For those practising in a group, it is recommended that everyone in the group wears a mask and maintains enough distance from each other.  

Conclusion:  

To conclude, it is better to indulge in low-intensity exercises such as walking, brisk walking or slow jogging as it will put less strain on their breathing. So, keep following the regular guidelines & stay safe.  

Obviously, it is better for you and everyone around you if more people are vaccinated. Vaccinations lower your risk of severe symptoms, hospitalisation and death. They may help to cut down on the spread of Covid-19 and it is our only hope for getting out of this pandemic finally. Get vaccinated as soon as you can if you are eligible.  

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Away From Home? 5 Tips To Support Your Parents During Lockdown!

Worried about your parent’s health during a lockdown? Indeed, the people who have been the hardest hit during the lockdown are senior citizens who live alone. Since it was announced suddenly, air and train services were called off abruptly. Many people living away from home have not been able to return to take care of their elderly parents.

If you are living in another city or state, you must be worried sick about how well your parents are coping with the lockdown. Here’s a list of things you need to do to make things easier for your parents who are home alone during the lockdown.

1. Order their groceries online

Why are the elderly more vulnerable to COVID-19 than youngsters? Because their immune system is weaker. That is why your parents shouldn’t go out at all during the pandemic. If they go to grocery stores, they might be exposed to the virus.

But they need their food supplies. What should you do? Order online of course. Ask your parents to make a list of foods they need. Make sure they put in vegetables, fruits and dairy because these foods are necessary for strong immunity.

Now place the order on any online delivery platform and add the address of your parent’s home. This way your parents will be able to stock up fresh supplies as and when necessary.

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2. You can order medicines online too

If your parents are on medication, they must not miss out on a single dose, especially if they have health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, kidney disorders and heart problems.

Procure a copy of your parent’s medical prescription and order the medicines online. Place a fresh order at least a few weeks before the current stock of medicines runs out. Please remember that like you, thousands are ordering online and there could be slight delays in deliveries during the lockdown.

Ensure that they have basic medicines with them for fever, headache, joint pain, acidity, constipation, antiseptic lotion, nutritional supplements and lots of band-aids.  

3. Purchase other household essentials

It’s not just foods and medicines that your parents will need. They also require-

Purchase these items online in bulk so that they last longer.

4. Cooking gas and bills

You can also place an order for cooking gas cylinders for your parents online.

Many seniors pay bills (electricity, cable) offline. They also go out to get their phones recharged.

But fortunately, thanks to technological advances, all of these can be done remotely and online. So, go ahead and pay the monthly bills for them through mobile apps and recharge their phones online as well.

5. Get in touch with volunteer groups

Other than online shopping, is there anything else you can do?

In almost every city, NGOs and volunteer groups are willingly shopping necessities for seniors. If you know of such a group in your parents’ neighbourhood, contact them and give them the list of things your parents need.

If there are essentials you can’t purchase for your parents, these groups may be able to help you.

What else can you do for your parents?

Now that the essentials are taken care of, you need to think about how you can uplift their spirits.

Your parents, who are alone, would be anxious and worried right now. Stress and anxiety can have negative consequences on their health. So what should you do to cheer them up?

  1. Call them multiple times a day. They should know that you are thinking of them always. Enquire if they are eating healthily, taking their medicines and exercising at home.
  2. If they are familiar with the technology, call them on Skype. Let them know, you will be with them soon.

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3. Transfer money to your parents online for emergencies.

4. Ask your neighbour to visit your parents to check on them.

5. Consult with your family physician to ensure that they are available during emergencies and keep their contact numbers handy.

6. Make a list of all the emergency contact numbers such as the family physician’s number, the ambulance, the fire station number and the local police station number and send a copy to your parents so that they can easily access them in times of need. It is a great way of taking care of your parents.

7. Maintaining good relations with your neighbours since they live the closest to your parents and can come to help if they are in some kind of a problem.

8. Encourage them to adopt a pet if they are up for it. Lockdowns can be testing times when a companion is greatly treasured. Spending time with a four-legged friend improves mood and keeps thoughts of loneliness at bay.

Your parents need your help now. It’s time to be responsible adults and do everything we can for our parents.

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.    

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Will The B117 Virus Trigger Another Lockdown In India?

Just when we thought that the COVID-19 pandemic was receding, we received some gloomy news. There’s a new COVID strain doing the rounds. Our coronavirus vaccine drive is almost underway and at this point, news of a new COVID strain, the B117 virus has got everyone asking the question- does this mean a new lockdown? 

Here’s what you need to know.

What do scientists know about the B117 virus?

The B117 virus originated as a mutation of the coronavirus in the eastern and southern UK in September and by the end of the year, scientists everywhere had started studying the B117 virus. Why did it cause so much concern when other COVID strains did not?

Experts have found that the B117 virus is much more contagious than other COVID strains. It is almost 70% more transmissible. 

The good news is, despite being more contagious than the regular coronavirus, the B117 virus is definitely not more dangerous than the other strains. 

The situation in the UK

The news of the increasing numbers of infections associated with the mutated coronavirus spread like a wildfire. Since this virus broke out in the UK and spread like wildfire, it did not come as a surprise when PM Boris Johnson declared the second lockdown in the country that lasted for the last two months of 2020 and going by the most recent reports, it may continue until February 2021.

India along with many countries had suspended flights to Britain over fears that international travel will expedite the spread of the new virus in India.

Is lockdown necessary in India? 

Despite the suspension of flights, the B117 virus has reached India. As per December reports, more than 5 people who arrived in India from Britain tested positive for this new strain. They have exposed others to the virus as well.

How likely is a new lockdown in India? Not very at this moment. The threats to the economy posed by a new lockdown are numerous and so far the B117 virus has not reached dangerous levels. Besides, preparations to roll out the coronavirus vaccine are in full swing.

B117 in India: Is B117 more infectious?

Scientists are yet not aware of the fact whether this variant is more infectious or resistant to vaccines. Dr Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State University, says one of its mutations is similar to those seen in variants identified in South Africa and Brazil. This mutation may help the virus evade antibodies in the immune system that can fight coronavirus based on experience from prior infection or a vaccine.

But what appears to be more worrying at the moment is a variant identified in the UK, which is dominant in Britain and has spread to more than 50 countries. “I doubt whether the Indian variant is more infectious than the UK variant – and we must not panic,” Dr Kamil says.

Hence, keeping a safe distance and maintaining all COVID-19 norms is important to keep yourself and the people around you safe and healthy. The following paragraph lists the measures to be taken.

Keep yourself safe

The same measures that prevent the spread of other COVID strains are effective against the B117 virus-

Let us try our best to follow protocols and keep each other safe.

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.

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Let’s Bust Some Dark Secrets About The Coronavirus!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the Coronavirus is a modern-day disease that has affected us all, shaking up the entire world with its confusing, mutating nature, and ever-emerging, new variants. With the world having already witnessed 3 COVID waves, it is best to be educated and prepared.

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, has famously said that Nature is the best physician. With technological advancement, increasing dependency on machines and drugs, and a highly complex lifestyle, we are moving away from Nature and exposing ourselves to many unknown and infectious diseases. The Coronavirus is one such disease that is spreading like wildfire, and the post-COVID life is often called ”the new normal.”  

As the Coronavirus is still raging on our precious planet, it is about time we expose some hidden Covid secrets, and bust some myths in the process too.

Omicron: the latest mind-boggling puzzle

The latest variant of the Coronavirus, the Omicron variant is causing some confusion among the scientific community. The booster dose and the double vaccine dose seems to be working against the Omicron variant, which is positive news, as most of the vaccines were designed to work against the first variant of Covid.

The marvellous human immune system has a unique ability to remember past infections. Some diseases and infections are given lifelong protection by the immune system, whereas booster shots are required for the others.  

Omicron immunity evasion

A study conducted in London’s Imperial College shows that the risk of reinfection with Omicron is about 5.4 times greater than getting infected with the Delta variant. Omicron antibodies are not as effective in protecting the body from reinfection.

Omicron poses a major threat to public health, as a study shows that people having the S gene target failure are at greater risk of reinfection and also breakthrough infections.

How do viruses evolve?  

When a virus makes copies of itself (replication), there is a possibility that it might change a little bit. Such changes are termed ‘mutations’. When a virus shows one or more new mutations, it is called a ”variant” of the virus it originated from. The longer a virus remains in circulation, the more it is likely to mutate and change. Such a process can create a variant that is more adaptable and better suited to the environment than the original virus. The mutation and natural selection of a better-adapted variant are known as ‘virus evolution’.

Certain mutations alter the virus’ attributes such as severity or transmission. The variant may become more transmissible or less deadly than its predecessor or the opposite could also happen.

Not all viruses change at the same pace. SARS-CoV-2 which is responsible for COVID-19 evolves at a much slower rate than other viruses such as the flu virus of HIV. This is due to the inbuilt proof-reading mechanism of the virus that corrects ‘errors’ when the virus duplicates itself. Studies are ongoing to find out more about this. It is important for us to know that the more this virus spreads from one person to another, the higher are the chances for it to mutate. Therefore, we must make every possible effort to reduce our risk of exposure to the virus.

Does SARS-CoV-2 change when it infects animals? And what are the implications of such a change?

Covid is NOT like a common cold or the flu

We have often heard that the Omicron variant is ”just like the flu”, and ”extremely mild.” That is an extremely careless and silly way to handle the problem. While both COVID-19 and the Flu have similar symptoms like body aches, fever, cough, and headaches, the two diseases are definitely not the same. Research done in the John Hopkins research centre states that the overall profile of COVID-19 is much more serious. The mortality rate of patients suffering from COVID-19 is estimated to be about 10 times greater than the number of patients succumbing to the flu.

While there is plenty of research still ongoing relating to the Coronavirus, this pandemic appears to be far from over but there is a ray of hope that this too will end someday. We must stay away from forwards and other false information, and rather rely on dependable sources of information. In this day and age, proper education and knowledge is the key to overcoming this totally unforeseeable disease.

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.

5 Easy-To-Do Exercises To Stay Strong During Lockdown!

We all know that lockdown is essential to flatten the curve of COVID-19. But it has forced us to change our daily routine. We are not going outside for work, to meet with our loved ones or go to the movies and restaurants.

Do you miss going to the gym or jogging in a park? We can’t do a lot of activities that we liked, like going for a swim, walk or cycling around the neighbourhood. And if these are your modes of exercising, then you’ve been forced to give them up.

Does that mean you should forgo exercise? 

Not exercising for the whole duration can have an adverse effect on your health.

Luckily, there are plenty of exercises that can be done from the safety of your home and you don’t even need gym equipment. Even if you don’t exercise, now is a good time to acquire this life-saving habit because we have so much time on our hands.

The importance of exercise during COVID-19

WHO has advised us all to stay physically active during lockdown and isolation. Exercise and health are linked. The more active you are, the less likely you are to fall ill.

In fact, it is believed that exercise reduces the possibility of contracting communicable diseases (like COVID-19, flu) and even non-communicable diseases (like cancer, heart diseases, hypertension or diabetes).

Does exercise make our immunity stronger? Yes. Blood supply to all parts of the body increases. Cells get more oxygen and nutrients, which make them stronger and more capable of handling pathogens. And through exercise, you can also ward off illnesses like heart diseases or diabetes, which make COVID-19 fatal.

Exercise also releases endorphins or happy hormones that make us feel relaxed and calm. These hormones also help us cope with stress and anxiety- something we desperately need during this global health crisis.

What exercises will keep you healthy?

We are going to discuss a few whole-body exercises that will put different parts of your body to use to keep them strong and flexible. Do as many repetitions as you are comfortable with.

Your strength and endurance will increase gradually and you will be able to work out for longer. Pushing yourself too hard right from the start may cause cramps and injuries.

  1. Lunges

Lunges are an all-time favourite. There are many versions of it and you can pack them all into your work-out session. Here are a few you must try-

Benefits of lunges

2. Planks

Planks may look simple but they are truly challenging. It works your entire body. Try both the regular plank and the side plank. Once you get used to planks, incorporate leg lifts in your plank routine. Here are a few benefits of the plank-

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3.  Squats

Mix up your lunges with squats as they work really well together. Like lunges, there are different types of squats and you can pick the ones your body is comfortable with. Beginners should opt for the conventional two-leg squats.

Squats will

4. Jump rope

You can base your whole exercise routine on a jumping rope or skipping because this cardio exercise is simply amazing.

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5. Burpees

The goodness of burpees extends to all parts of the body. Burpees are difficult. So start with a simple non-pushup variation of burpees and do just a few.  

Burpees will-

Bonus!

For good luck, we’ll throw in just one more exercise into the mix. This one is called power walking. Yes, good old walking can be one of the best exercises for strength and power. If done in a brisk manner accompanied by swift arm movements, this exercise can help you lose some weight amongst other great benefits.

Since we all are stuck in this Covid-19 world, make sure you take all safety precautions before venturing out. Keep a safe distance from others while walking. Otherwise, a 10-15 minute walk in your terrace or garden can do the trick just as well. Partaking in this short workout will better the strength of cardiac muscles, and also prevent severe joint pain in later years of your life.

Tips to keep yourself motivated

In the current situation, it can be tough to keep yourself motivated to do anything, let alone exercise! Hence, here are some simple tips you can follow to bring out the workout clothes which have been collecting dust for quite some time now:

Try different forms of exercise every day and allow yourself one rest day to let your body heal. Stay home at all times, eat healthily and exercise. We will emerge from the crisis as stronger individuals.

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.

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Are Omicron-Specific Vaccines Really Required?

As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 started to wreak havoc around the world causing a steep rise in the number of cases, the authorities have been taken aback fearing another wave taking the lives of many as we saw in early 2021.

Thankfully, initial studies on the new variant indicate that Omicron is not as deadly as its predecessor, the Delta variant. It, however, is more contagious than the previous strains. So, the rapid increase in positivity rate has forced the global bodies to come up with a solution to this problem.

What do the experts suggest?

WHO periodically organizes consultations with an independent group of experts, the Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition (TAG-CO-VAC), to review the evidence and analyse the implications of emerging variants on the performance of COVID-19 vaccines.

The body comprising independent experts suggested the need of more studies and research to understand if  the composition of the current COVID-19 vaccines may need to be changed to ensure that they provide higher protection against the Variants of Concern (VOCs), including Omicron or any other future strains.  

Some experts have  stressed on the need for COVID-19 vaccines to produce broader, stronger and lasting immune responses to eliminate the need for successive booster doses. They opined that a vaccination strategy that is based on repeated doses of the original vaccine composition is not sustainable or appropriate.

Do we need an Omicron-specific vaccine?

The WHO panel, however, did not recommend the need for an Omicron-specific vaccine at the moment. They said that this can only be considered once there is enough evidence and also requested the vaccine manufacturers to share data available to them.

Viruses keep on changing and newer variants with newer characteristics may appear in future. There are chances of more mutations coming up in future.

What’s the update on vaccines?

As many as 10 vaccine manufacturing companies around the world are currently working on bringing up vaccines for COVID-19. Moreover, a total of seven potential vaccine candidates that are still under development are being tested against the new variant. Some of these newer vaccines are expected to be released in the months to come.

Here is the list of vaccines that are under development –

UNICEF has explained that some of the above-mentioned candidates may be used as booster shots or independent vaccines against the virus.

Here is the list of already existing vaccines that are being tested against the new Omicron variant –

Furthermore, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has also started to study the effectiveness of already existing COVID-19 vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin – against the Omicron variant.

Takeaway

Studies are under process to understand the effectiveness of existing vaccines and also to evaluate the need for any modification in the vaccine composition for better protection against the newer variants. It is important for us to know that even the existing vaccines offer good protection against severe illness and death due to COVID. while We should therefore continue to get vaccinated (if eligible), and keep ourselves safe from this highly contagious variant of COVID-19. State governments across India have already imposed multiple restrictions to contain the spread of the virus and its variants. Now, it is our responsibility to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from the virus. So, keep following the social protocols and stay healthy!

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.

Precaution Dose For 60+ With Comorbidities In Mumbai And Delhi

The third wave of COVID-19 has recently brought the Omicron variant into India. Medical professionals report that this variant is far more contagious than the previous Delta variant. Therefore, the Government of India has issued the administration of a precautionary/booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine from 10th January 2022.

PharmEasy has been actively involved with vaccinations since the first drive. Therefore once again, PharmEasy has sought to open vaccination camps in Mumbai and Delhi to support the Government’s endeavour towards securing public health. According to the governmental guidelines, people aged 60 years or more with any comorbidities can take the precaution dose with a doctor’s advice.

The third dose i.e the precaution dose of the vaccine should be the same as the previous two doses. Eg. If a person took the first two doses of Covishield, the third/precaution dose should also be of Covishield. 

Why the Precaution Dose?

Scientists have found the immunity created by the first two doses is gradually fading away in most people. This is especially true for senior citizens with co-morbidities and compromised immune systems. The third dose can amp up a person’s immunity.

The price of the covishield vaccine is as per govt norms issued for private hospitals.

Eligibility Criteria of Precaution Dose

Vaccine Available: Covishield

The list of hospitals given below are within the PharmEasy network in Delhi and Mumbai and will be hosting these vaccination camps.

Hospital NameAddressCitySlot TimeDays OperationalNavigation Link
Surana Sethia HospitalSion – Trombay Rd, Suman Nagar, Chembur, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400071Mumbai10 am to 4 pmMON-SAThttps://maps.app.goo.gl/qbMy7PXN1EWC9Nve7
Surana Hospital and Research Centre.End of, Tank Road, Shankar Lane, Orlem, Church, Malad West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400064Mumbai10 am to 4 pmMON-SAThttps://maps.app.goo.gl/geN7UZqngQoPT6EC7
MPCT HospitalC7, Budhyadev Mandir Marg, Sector 4, Sanpada, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra 400705Mumbai10 am to 4 pmMON-SAThttps://maps.app.goo.gl/WYKuL13oMorCivVR9
Apex HospitalE-22, Goswami Girdhari Lal Marg, Block E, Naraina Vihar, Naraina, New Delhi, Delhi 110028Delhi10 am to 2 pmMON-SAThttps://maps.app.goo.gl/XmK5JbBRQLkckore8

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.

Delmicron – What Is It And How Is It Different From Omicron?

When India is troubled by a steep rise in the cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the United States and some European countries are facing an all-new threat called “Delmicron”. Now, you would be filled with so many queries like if this is a new variant of Coronavirus? If this is going to trigger the third wave? If it is deadlier or milder than the Omicron variant?

First of all, there is no need to panic and we are here to answer all your queries.

What is Delmicron?

Delmicron is not a new variant of Coronavirus, but as per the experts, it is the term used for the infections spreading together due to twin spikes of Delta and Omicron variants. The name has also been derived by combining the names of the previous two variants of COVID-19. The reason for coming up with this name was that both variants are being found all over the world. 

Currently, the US and UK are the COVID-19 hotbeds across the globe. According to the data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Omicron has already taken over the Delta variant with about 73 percent sequenced cases (by December 18). Just a week earlier, the Delta variant was dominating with a total of 87 percent caseload.

Even more shockingly, CDC has estimated that over 90 percent of the cases in portions of the Northwest, South, Southeast and Northeast are of the Omicron variant. These numbers clearly show that the US is battling both variants at the same time. The UK is also facing a similar situation with the number of cases rising rapidly.

Delmicron Symptoms

The symptoms of the Delmicron are similar to Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19. Please have a look at the most common symptoms reported by the patients:

The researchers have claimed that both, Omicron and Delta variants, are highly transmissible. The UK government scientists, however, have claimed that people who contract the Delta variant are more likely to fall sick with serious symptoms than those who get infected with the Omicron variant.

Various variants in India 

The Indian scientists are yet to figure out how the Omicron variant would behave in the localities where there is widespread exposure to the Delta variant. Some of them, however, think that the Omicron variant would not affect the Indian population as badly as the Delta strain of COVID-19.

Looking at the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant, some experts believe that even if a majority of people report mild symptoms, third wave can affect a larger population. The total number of hospitalisations can still be higher if we do not limit the spread of this virus. Are we on the brink of the third COVID-19 wave?

India has started to feel the heat of carelessly celebrating the holiday season of the New Year 2022. On Friday, 7th Jan 2022, India has reported 1,17,100 cases of COVID-19 infection which is way higher than a few weeks earlier when there were just about 5,000 cases being recorded in a day. It would not be wrong to say that we are heading towards yet another wave of COVID pandemic.

Takeaway

The governments of respective states have started to impose night curfews and close down schools and cinema halls, but all this would be futile if we as the citizen of India do not understand our responsibility and abide by the social protocols established by the government. All of us must avoid social gatherings, wear a mask whenever outside and maintain physical distancing at public places. Getting vaccinated is also one of our main responsibilities to protect ourselves and our country from the dreadful effects of COVID-19.

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.

Can Covaxin Provide Better Protection Against Omicron Than Other Vaccines?

The COVID-19 Pandemic has wreaked havoc in our lives since 2020 and we have seen our world going through many ebbs and flows for this in the last two years. One moment, everything seems to go in the right direction, whereas in the next we are preparing for a new wave. But even in these uncertain times, we have managed to create many effective vaccines for our protection. This is no easy feat and we have our brilliant scientists to thank for that.

But the one thing that is more unpredictable than the outcome of the virus is the virus itself. It has been mutating heavily, and people are confused whether the existing vaccines are going to be effective against it or not. The current mutated variant – the Omicron variant stands as the most infectious one, and we must find out if our vaccines can protect us against it or not.

What is Omicron Variant and How Dangerous Is It?

Not a lot is known about the Omicron Variant, but we know that it was first reported in South Africa. We know with the help of current reports and studies that the Omicron variant is far more infectious than the Delta variant or even the earlier COVID-19 strains such as Alpha or Beta. According to the CDC, the Omicron variant is known to spread from an infected person to another very easily even if they do not inhabit any symptoms, or even if they are fully vaccinated. But there have been fewer reports of people being in critical condition after getting infected with the Omicron variant.

Are Vaccines Effective Against the Omicron Variant?

Vaccines should be effective against the Omicron variant, just like they have proven themselves to be effective against all the previous ones. But even then, more research is being carried out to know just how effective the vaccines are against the Omicron variant. The research will reveal if two doses will suffice, or how effective a booster dose will be, what percentage of antibody boost can we expect from a 3-vaccine schedule, etc.  

Is Covaxin Effective Against Omicron?

For Indians, the good news is, scientists have found that Covaxin is effective against Omicron. Covaxin has proven itself to be extremely effective against the Delta variant as well as the others, so there is no reason why it shouldn’t work at all against Omicron. It has even been supported by Samiran Panda, the head of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Studies are ongoing to find more evidence to back up the initial findings. So, in the Covaxin VS Omicron battle, it is the home-grown vaccine that is going to come out as victorious. Research is ongoing to determine whether a third dose of Covaxin is required or whether people vaccinated with Covaxin should opt for cocktail vaccination, which means the third dose should be of another vaccine such as Covishield.

Also Read: Precautions to Take Against Omicron Variant

What Else Can You Do To Stay Safe Against The Omicron Variant?

You need to continue following the general precautionary rules that have been in place for the last two years.

Another way that you can increase your chances against the virus is by getting yourself fully vaccinated. In this Omicron VS Covaxin war, if you want Covaxin to win, then get both doses of the vaccine. If you choose the right side in this contest between Omicron VS Covaxin and follow the basic COVID rules, you can keep yourself protected against the disease and even reduce its spread of it.  

Also Read: Is Covishield Effective Against Omicron?

Conclusion

It is extremely important to stay cautious during these uncertain times and get yourself tested anytime you see any symptoms. This is going to be a difficult battle against COVID-19, but if we follow the rules we will win and emerge victoriously. 

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.

Covaxin vs Covishield – A Detailed Comparison – Efficacy, Side effects

The COVID-19 vaccination drive has already begun in India and many people are still unaware of how the two vaccines – Covaxin and Covishield – are different from each other.

The third phase began on April 1, in which people over the age of 18 can take life-saving shots.

Currently, the government hasn’t allowed people to decide which vaccine they want to get, but the result of the first phase clearly suggests that both the vaccines being inoculated in India are safe and effective. As of now, 41.2 crore doses have been administered. 8.55 crore people of 6.3% of the total population are fully vaccinated.

Covaxin vs Covishield – Which one is better?

Well, we have compiled all the information to give you a better understanding of the formulation and every other detail about the vaccine you are going to get to stay safe from the Coronavirus. Have a look:

Developer

Covaxin has been developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV). Covaxin is currently trying to procure WHO approval to ease international travel woes for people who have opted for this vaccine. All the relevant documents have urgently been submitted to the officials of WHO. 

Because the Delta variant is proving to be more infectious than the other COVID variants, the makers of Covaxin have started a new study to determine the effectiveness of the third dose of Covaxin (the booster dose). The results are expected to be made public in November 2021.

Covishield has been developed by the Oxford-AstraZeneca and is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). 

Doctors are mulling over the need for a booster dose for Covishield as well, considering the fact that the elderly and people with comorbidities may not be producing the desired immunity response to the Delta variant. 

Type of Vaccine

Covaxin is an inactivated viral vaccine. This vaccine is developed with Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell-derived technology. They contain inactivated viruses, which can not infect a person but still can teach the immune system to prepare a defence mechanism against the active virus.

These conventional vaccines have been in use for decades now. There are vaccines for some other diseases as well which are made using the same technology. These diseases are –

Covishield has been prepared using the viral vector platform which is a totally different technology.

A chimpanzee adenovirus – ChAdOx1 – has been modified to enable it to carry the COVID-19 spike protein into the cells of humans. Well, this cold virus is basically incapable of infecting the receiver but can very well teach the immune system to prepare a mechanism against such viruses.

The exact technology was used to prepare vaccines for viruses like Ebola.

Doses

There is no difference between the two vaccines in terms of dosage. Both of them are administered as 0.5ml in the upper arm region.

But, the dosing schedule for both vaccines however varies. The second dose of Covaxin is scheduled after 4-6 weeks after the first dose, while for Covishield vaccines it is 84 days or 12-16 weeks after the first dose.

Storage Guidelines

Both Covishield and Covaxin can be stored at 2-8 ° Centigrade, which is a household refrigerator temperature. This makes both the vaccines most suited for Indian conditions as most of the vaccines here are kept at the same temperature range.

This also makes the transportation and storage of both vaccines easier.

Efficacy

Both the vaccines have shown more than satisfactory results ever since the inoculation started in India.

The effectiveness of the Covishield vaccine is nearly 90% as per the global reports and Covaxin’s 81% according to interim 3rd phase trial results.

Side effects

After getting vaccinated, you may experience pain at the site of injection. Some people may also experience side effects such as headaches, joint pain and may feel feverish. These side effects do not persist for long and generally go within a day or two.

Approvals

Covaxin has currently been granted approval for emergency restricted use, while Covishield has been allowed for restricted use in emergency situations that can potentially prevent coronavirus infection in people aged 18 years and above.

Covaxin has begun its clinical trial in children aged above 2 years of age.

However, the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) has not given a market use authorization clearance to any of the vaccines till now.

Price of the vaccines

Both the vaccines are being inoculated free of cost at government health set-ups. However, the cost of vaccines at the private hospital varies. Thus, you should always contact the hospitals for the exact cost of the vaccine.

Also Read: Is Covishield Effective Against Omicron?

Mode of administration

Both Covaxin and Covishield are intramuscular vaccines.

Age of beneficiaries

Covishield and Covaxin have been approved for people aged 18 years and above.

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Summing up the differences between Covishield and Covaxin

CovishieldCovaxin
The interval between 1st and 2nd doses is 12-16 weeks.The interval between the 2 doses is 4-6 weeks.
Efficacy after the second dose can vary from 70-90%.This vaccine can be 78-95% effective after the second dose.
People above 18 years of age can opt for this vaccine.This vaccine can be injected into people above 18 years of age.

The newest vaccine to arrive in India

In June, Drug Controller General of India gave Cipla the permission to procure the Moderna vaccine from the US. It is the first US vaccine to arrive in India. 7.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine have been offered to India. 

This vaccine uses the mRNA technology and tests have found it to be 94.1% effective. 

The latest updates on the COVID vaccine 

Also Read: Is Covaxin Effective Against Omicron?

Difference between Sputnik V and the other two vaccines

SputnikCovishield and Covaxin
Developed by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology in association with Dr Reddy’s.Covishield is developed by the SII, Oxford University and AstraZeneca whereas Covaxin is developed by Bharat Biotech and ICMR.
It is 91.6 per cent effective.Covishield can be up to 90% effective and Covaxin has been found to be 78-81% effective.
The interval between the 2 doses is likely to be 21 days.The gap between the doses of Covishiled and Covaxin are respectively 12-16 weeks and 4-6 weeks

The newest vaccine to arrive in India

In June, Drug Controller General of India gave Cipla the permission to procure the Moderna vaccine from the US. It is the first US vaccine to arrive in India. 7.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine have been offered to India. 

This vaccine uses the mRNA technology and tests have found it to be 94.1% effective. 

Are you keeping a tab on your health? Let’s find out.

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.

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