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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.

At PharmEasy, we wanted to extend our support to the Government of India in its COVID vaccination drive. And thus, with our ‘Go Corona Go Initiative‘, we are offering a token of appreciation to every user who has got vaccinated. Basically, we’re on the lookout for SUPERHEROES who will help make India COVID-free. For every vaccine taken by a citizen, we would be giving a flat ₹150 PharmEasy cash in the wallet to the users that can be used on their next medicine order. Click here to get it now!

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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What To Do When COVID-19 Hits Home: A Blog For People Who Are COVID Positive

The recent months have been testing times for everybody in India. Families are getting affected and the COVID-19 infection is spreading faster than before. Although you may not be completely prepared to deal with the situation, proper care of a COVID-19 positive patient in your family is essential while keeping the rest of the family safe.

This article discusses some critical points that you can follow if the virus enters your home and affects a family member.

The Primary Steps if the RT-PCR Report is Positive

It is worrisome if a family member tests positive in the RT-PCR test for COVID-19. Here are a few steps that you should follow when you know you have a COVID-19 positive patient at home.

Consult your family doctor or find a doctor nearby for emergency consultation. If he/she has recommended home isolation for the infected member, you may take care in the following manner:

Taking Care of a COVID-19 Patient at Home

After the laboratory tests and the scan for the COVID-19 positive patient are completed, you must follow all the instructions given by your doctor. If your doctor advises home isolation, you need to prepare for several things to take proper care of the patient. At the same time, protect the rest of the family and yourself from getting infected. The following tips will help you get through:

Daily diet and hygiene

It is necessary to provide healthy food to the patient.

Admitting the Patient to a Hospital

While you regularly monitor the patient’s oxygen levels and temperature, you should watch for a few more warning signs. Your family member might need oxygen or a ventilator bed. Keep the doctor’s contact number handy. Immediately call a doctor and seek admission to the hospital if you notice the following signs:

Preventive Steps to Control the Spread

While taking care of the infected family member, the following preventive steps are necessary to control the spread of the virus to the rest of the family:

Talk to your doctor about when to end home isolation and the necessary tests to be carried out. Take proper precautions to avoid the spread of the infection. Stay vigilant and immediately contact the doctor in case of an emergency. Help your loved ones recover from COVID-19 while in home isolation.

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.

Worried About The Delay For 2nd Dose of The COVID Vaccine? Know All About It

Are you also one of those people who are worried over the shortage of COVID-19 vaccines forcing you to wait for the second dose? Are you also wondering if you may need to restart your vaccine schedule because it has already been months since your first dose?

Well, you do not need to panic yet as the studies and experts suggest that the booster (second) dose works just fine even if you take it after a gap of 4-5 months from the date of your first jab.

How do the vaccine doses work?

When you take the first dose of any COVID-19 vaccine, it triggers an immune response, which stays active even if you delay your booster dose. It, however, doesn’t work at the optimum level and that’s why you need the second dose.

The booster dose basically enhances and increases the immune response of the first dose-response. 


Once the first dose of vaccine is taken, our body starts reacting and produces antibodies specific to the vaccine. The amount of time required by the body to produce an immune response may take time, but it triggers the memory cells of the immune system. When the second dose is given the immune response against the vaccine will be much faster and more effective than the first dose. Thus, a delay in the second dose will not harm and does not wear off.

Why has the government increased the duration between the two doses?

Amid the rising demand and insufficient supply of vaccines, the government has increased the duration between two Covishield doses from 4 to 12 weeks. The decision has been taken after analyzing the data from the international trials, in which the researchers observed the immune response of the vaccinated people from the first dose till the booster jab.

The experts also observed that in some cases where the second dose was administered as late as 12 weeks, the antibodies and immune response from the vaccine were equivalent and comparable.

What do other experts say?

Some experts believe that from an immunology perspective, researchers always specify a ‘minimum’ interval, not ‘maximum’ between the doses. They believe that any vaccine works better if the gap between the first and the booster dose is slightly longer in most cases.

In the case of Covaxin, the minimum gap of 4-6 weeks remains unchanged. In case the vaccine is not available, it can be delayed but has been mentioned for 28 days but everyone must get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine even if it is delayed.

Some experts also recommend that people should not think about taking the first dose again if the booster jab has been delayed. Even in children’s vaccination, the norm is to pick up from where the one left off.

Moreover, even children are not recommended a repeat dose of the same vaccine even if they have a weaker immune response. Hence, it should not be done for the COVID vaccination too.

Another expert has claimed that the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, even if delayed, is effective in preventing the infection.

What if you contract Covid between shots?

There have been cases where people contracted covid within a few days or weeks of getting their first dose of COVID vaccination. In case a person contracts the infection very close to getting their second COVID-19 dose, here’s what you should do. Remember that the infection helps the body build certain protective antibodies naturally, but we don’t know for sure how long these antibodies last and hence it is advisable to get the second dose of the vaccine after recovering. 

You must postpone your vaccination by at least 6 weeks after a mild covid infection. Those with a severe form of illness should consider getting a go-ahead from the doctor first. Make sure you recover well but do not miss the vaccine dose as it will add to your immunity and serve additional purposes.

What else do we know?

In the United Kingdom, the recommended gap between the two shots of Covishield is 12 weeks, while Canada has kept it to 16 weeks. A study by Public Health England has proved that the first jab of Covishield is 65 percent effective against symptomatic COVID-19 and 80% against a severe form of the disease.

Some experts even recommend that even if a person gets infected after getting the first dose of the vaccine and takes 6-10 weeks to recover, he/she must take the second jab after 3 months of being completely recovered from the illness.

How can we ensure getting the vaccine in time?

First of all, you should not worry at all about the revision of the vaccination schedule. The decision has been taken after a thorough analysis of every aspect of the efficacy of the doses. Still, if you are unable to get the vaccine at a government-designated centre, you can always look for a private vaccination centre in your locality and get the vaccine.

Takeaway

The shortage of vaccines may have sparked a wave of fear among the people who have got their first shot of the vaccine, but there isn’t anything to worry about as of now. There would be no need to restart the vaccine schedule even if you have completed 12 weeks from your first dose. Everyone should just focus on getting their second dose as per the government-specified schedule.

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.

Oxygen Concentrators – How Are They Helping The COVID-19 Patients?

As India is grappling with the Coronavirus pandemic, people are running from pillar to post to arrange hospitals, ICU beds, life-saving medications, ventilators and most importantly ‘oxygen’, to save their loved ones. 

Arranging these basic necessities is so tough today because the availability of all these things is way less than what the country requires to win this battle.

In these testing times, Oxygen Concentrators have turned out to be a ‘saviour’ for the people who are mildly affected with COVID-19 and are trying to recover in home isolation, owing to the shortage of hospital beds.

What is an oxygen concentrator?

An oxygen concentrator is a medical device that is generally bigger than a computer monitor. It works by concentrating oxygen from the ambient air and aiding the patient in breathing easily. 

How does it work?

In today’s polluted world, atmospheric air contains about 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen. The last one percent consists of various other gases.

An oxygen concentrator sucks this atmospheric air, filters it through a sieve/filter and releases the nitrogen back into the atmosphere. The filtered oxygen is given to the patient through a cannula.

The studies have shown that these concentrators produce 90-95 percent pure oxygen. The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2015 stated, ”Concentrators can operate and produce oxygen 24 hours a day continuously and may last up to five years.”

When does a patient need concentrators?

As the majority of the states in India are facing scarcity of oxygen right now, people should start taking the help of concentrators when their oxygen saturation level drops below 94 percent. Notably, oxygen saturation level between 94-100 percent is considered safe and healthy.

These concentrators are effective on patients whose saturation level doesn’t drop below 90 percent, but they can be of help even for those with oxygen saturation dropping as low as 85 percent. Patients, whose oxygen level drops below this point, will require a better flow of oxygen than these concentrators can offer.

How good are these concentrators?

The experts claim that oxygen concentrators are not as good as Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO), which are 99 percent pure and are a good option for mild to moderate COVID-19 patients, whose oxygen saturation level is at 90 percent or above.

The experts say that these are not appropriate for ICU patients.

What are the types of oxygen concentrators?

Basically, there are two types of concentrators – Continuous flow and Pulse dose.

Continuous flow concentrators keep supplying the same flow of oxygen every minute if they are not turned off. The pulse dose concentrators are a little smarter and read the breathing pattern of the patient and release O2 on detecting inhalation. In the second type, the per-minute oxygen dispensation will vary.

How are these different from oxygen cylinders and LMO?

These are the best alternatives of the cylinders and LMO, which are very tough to be transported and stored. Moreover, cylinders require to be refilled but concentrators can keep producing oxygen for up to five years or more, using just the ambient air and a power source.

The only drawback with the concentrators is that they can only supply 5-10 litres of oxygen per minute, while the critical patients may require 40-45 litres per minute.

How much do they cost?

The cost of these concentrators varies depending upon how much oxygen they produce per minute. Their cost may vary between Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 90,000 in different markets.

What to check while renting or buying oxygen concentrators?

As per the experts, if a patient is given one-litre oxygen through a concentrator, the oxygen percentage in the lungs shoots up to 24 percent, while with two litres, it reaches 28 percent and with 10 litres, it rises up to 60 percent. The oxygen per minute has to be regulated as per the requirement.

The patient must consult a physician to know how many litres per minute of oxygen is needed and a pulse oximeter is also necessary to monitor the oxygen saturation.

The quality of oxygen produced depends upon the number of sieves/filters used in the concentrator and their quality is not measured by their weight but by litre per minute output. The ideal weight of these concentrators is less than 27 kgs.

If the concentrator gets heated while working, the quality of oxygen produced may deplete. Hence, it should be used only when required.

Takeaway

The coronavirus pandemic has given a huge boost to the oxygen concentrator sales in India, as their demand has shot up shockingly. Earlier, where the demand was 40,000 concentrators annually, now it has gone up to 30,000-40,000 a month.

Well, oxygen concentrators have been an essential part of every home in China where there are people over 65 years of age. With COVID-19 infecting an increasing number of people on a daily basis, these concentrators can really help the Indian healthcare system.  

Grab a concentrator and book a test for advanced health checkup.

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.

Sputnik V Gets Emergency Use Approval In India

The new COVID-19 strain has derailed the Indian healthcare infrastructure in no time, and our country, which was donating vaccines to the neighbouring nations a few weeks ago, is facing a shortage of the life-saving shots and almost every other facility required to fight this pandemic.

In a huge relief to the people, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in India. This is the third vaccine India has approved to use against the deadly virus. The earlier two are – Covishield and Covaxin. The former has been developed by the Oxford University-AstraZeneca and Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) is manufacturing it, while the latter has been developed and manufactured by Bharat Biotech and the National Institute of Virology (NIV).

Who will distribute Sputnik V in India?

Indian pharmaceutical company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has joined hands with the Russian sovereign fund Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for carrying out the bridge clinical trials of the vaccine in India, which is the 60th country to approve its use.

When will the distribution of Sputnik V start in India?

The RDIF has confirmed that vaccine distribution will begin by the end of April or in the first week of May.

Who has developed and is manufacturing Sputnik V?

The Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, backed by the Russian state, has developed the vaccine. The registration of the vaccine in Russia was done in August 2020 as Gam-COVID-Vac, and the “V” in the name of the vaccine stands for alphabet V. The developer has informed that the vaccine can be stored at 2-8 degree celsius.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has got the contract of distributing up to 250 million doses in India, by importing them. RDIF has also signed a manufacturing contract with Stelis Biopharma, Gland Pharma, Virchow Biotech, Panacea Biotec and Hetero Biopharma to manufacture more than 850 million Sputnik V doses in India. The doses produced in India will be exported across the world.

The production of the vaccine is soon to start at Hetero Biopharma and Panacea Biotec, while the other pharma companies will begin production in September 2021.

How is Sputnik V different from other vaccines?

Sputnik V is an adenovirus viral vector vaccine, which carries viruses especially made containing the coronavirus genes. Some of these types of vaccines make their way into the cells and cause them to produce viral proteins. The others just gradually replicate, travelling through the body with virus proteins on their surface.

How many doses are required?

People have to get two doses of Sputnik V, similar to Covishield and Covaxin. Both the doses have to be administered at least 21 days apart. These are inoculated through injection into the muscle.

What’s the efficacy of Sputnik V?

The Russian vaccine has shown excellent results with an efficacy rate of 91.5 percent. This rate is the highest after Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccines. Before giving it the green signal, a bridging trial was conducted in India.

Another positive news is that only 0.1 percent of the vaccine receivers have complained about the side effects.

What’s the price of the vaccine?

In the international market, the Russian vaccine costs around Rs. 750 per dose, but its price in India is still to be decided, as the government is trying to negotiate the pricing with the manufacturer.

Why is it important for India at this time?

The vaccine approval for emergency use in India is very crucial as the second wave of the pandemic has already put India on the back foot in the war against the virus. Many states in the country have been reporting a shortage of vaccines, even when India is all set to expand the vaccination drive.

Which countries are currently using it?

Russia became the first country to start inoculating its citizens with Sputnik V. It is currently being administered in many countries including Pakistan, Egypt, Argentina, Vietnam, Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan, Panama, Mauritius, Hungary, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

Takeaway

With the quickly rising number of cases of COVID-19 in India, approval to Sputnik V for emergency use can come as a boon for the countrymen. We should hope that the first lot of vaccines land in India soon so that the vaccination drive can come back on the right track.

Know your current health status.

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.

Why Is There A Rise In COVID-19 Cases Amidst The Vaccination Drive?

Right when India was starting to smell victory against the deadly COVID-19 disease, the virus has struck back with a new strain, which in a way has derailed the ambitious vaccination drive of the Indian government.

The virus has restarted spreading its wings across India The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already confirmed that the new strain of the coronavirus is even more contagious than the previous one and at the same time, people in India have started to take it less seriously.

What does the government have to say?

To investigate and figure out ways to stop the second wave of COVID-19, the central government formed a panel, which in its report, said, ”The main reason behind the second wave is the superspreader events like weddings, elections and social gatherings and people being unwilling to keep following the social distancing norms.

Niti Ayog member (Health) Dr VK Paul has suggested not to show any laxity in our fight against COVID-19, as breaking the chain of transmission should be our utmost priority at the moment. He also emphasized that vaccines are a major tool in our mission but we can not afford to give up on the containment and surveillance methods that we have been following for so long.

What’s the actual COVID-19 situation in India?

In the last 24 hours ending at 8 AM Monday, India recorded the highest ever 1,03,558 new COVID-19 cases. These cases have taken India’s total to 1,25,89,067, out of which 9.07 lakh are currently active, while 1.17 crore has recovered successfully. In the last 24 hours, a total of 478 deaths have been reported, taking the toll up to 1.65 lakh.

Maharashtra is the worst affected state right now with over 3.36 lakh active cases. The state recorded 31,643 cases on Monday itself. To curb the resurgence of the virus, the state is likely to release new work norms by April 1. The decision on a full lockdown will be taken in a meeting headed by the Chief Minister of the state.

In a strange occurrence, eight states of the country accounted for 84.5 per cent of the total 68,020 fresh cases recorded on Monday. Delhi also recorded more than 1,900 cases on Monday, breaking its past three-month record.

Why should we be worried?

India’s indigenous vaccines – Covaxin and Covishield – have been performing well, but looking at the huge population of our country, it is impossible to immunize everyone in a short period. Till now, India has managed to vaccinate only six crore people, which is just 4.43 per cent of the 135.5 crore population of the country.

More shockingly, only 0.5 per cent of people in India had received both doses of vaccines by March 18, 2021. If Indian authorities maintain the same pace of vaccination, they would be able to vaccinate 70% of the population in the next 10.8 years.

Hence, it becomes essential for the people of the country to maintain the social distancing norms specified by the authorities, so that the government doesn’t have to use their time, manpower and focus on stopping the spread of the virus, instead of speeding up the inoculation drive.

How can we help the government?

Any government cannot succeed against the deadly virus if the people of the country do not contribute their bit to the mission. Hence, getting vaccinated timely should be our top priority and until we are not inoculated, we must follow the social distancing norms.

Takeaway

To stop the resurgence of COVID-19 in India, people must ensure that they are following all the protocols set by their local authorities, and also step forward to get themselves immunized against the disease. We must stop the spread of misinformation and myths related to the disease and vaccines. Moreover, people should also ignore attending social gatherings to stay safe.

Know your current health status!

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.

The Latest COVID-19 News That You Must Know!

The steadily rising numbers of COVID-19 cases throughout the country has become a cause of concern for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Although this rise in daily cases has not been consistent throughout the country, certain states like Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka have experienced a massive spike in numbers.

This has forced these state governments to resume strict COVID-19 protocols and preventive measures. Along with placing increased restrictions on gatherings in public places like shopping malls and parks, these states have also enforced the Test-Track-Treat Protocol to help flatten the curve once again.

The Test-Track-Treat Protocol

The renewed surge in COVID-19 cases in several Indian states has resulted in the reinforcement of the Test-Track-Treat Protocol that can help curb the rapid spread of the virus. The need for the Test-Track-Treat Protocol has become even more significant and observing strategies for demarcating containment zones has also become necessary at the micro-level.

Along with the Test-Track-Treat Protocol, state governments have also marked public places as the main cause of the rapid spread of the virus.

Public Places – the Super Spreader Zones

The Delhi government has reported a total of 6,49,973 active cases of COVID-19 as of 24th March 2021. This resulted in the Delhi government placing malls, cinema halls, indoor auditoriums and metro stations under the tags of ‘Super Spreader Zones’. The government of Delhi also declared that massive randomized testing for the virus is to be conducted in these zones to identify active cases and quarantine them for treatment. Law enforcement authorities in Delhi have also been instructed to prevent public gatherings during the upcoming festivals of Holi, Shab-e-Baraat and Navratri.

Holi Banned in 5 Indian States

Since the beginning of 2021, the country has not recorded such a rise in the number of cases as has been recorded in the last few days, indicating an unprecedented spike in the spread of the virus. As a result, these 5 states have placed a ban on public gatherings during festivals like Holi:

No Need for Comorbidity Certificate

In the wake of such an alarming rate of increase in infected cases, amping up the vaccination drive has become one of many solutions. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has urged all Indians above the age of 45 years to get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine regardless of comorbidities since it is an effective preventive measure. 

Towards a Safer Future

With the multi-pronged approach of the Indian Government with regards to increasing the intensity of the ongoing vaccination drives and placing strict restrictions in containment zones, there is hope for the country to return to normal. Placing bans on public gatherings may seem extreme even in 2021 but measures like these are a necessary evil needed to fight for the greater good.

Also Read: COVID-19 Cases Less Than Three Lakhs After A Month In India

Are you aware of your current health status?

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 health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

Lockdown 2021: What You Need To Know About The New Measures

The second phase of the vaccine drive against COVID-19 has already begun in India earlier this month. This phase is set to cover more than 10 crore people across the nation who are above the age of 60 years. The second phase also includes vaccinating people aged more than 45 years who are living with comorbidities against the novel coronavirus. The second phase has been welcomed with more positivity.

Why you should still Mask up

Many of the people who have received the vaccine think that immunity against the virus means they no longer need to wear a mask in public places and gatherings. However, this is a misconception as the COVID-19 vaccines do not guarantee that a person cannot be a carrier of the virus. There is a sudden rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in India and health officials are anticipating a second wave of the virus.

A Second Wave despite the Vaccination Drive

Since February 2021, the cases of COVID-19 have been steadily rising in states like Punjab, Maharashtra, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Kerala. The curve began to pick up even in regions where a vaccination drive had already taken place. To flatten the suddenly rising curve, administrations of cities like Nagpur, Pune, Nasik, as well as governments of states like Punjab and Uttarakhand have imposed lockdowns and night curfews once again.

The government is continuously urging the people to sign up for the vaccination drives in an attempt to flatten the curve. However, after receiving the vaccine it is still necessary to observe COVID-19 protocols because vaccinated people could still have a chance of being carriers of the virus. Until all the people of the country have received the vaccine, it is wise to still mask up and regularly wash hands for the safety of those around you.

Get vaccinated and stay fit!

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 You Take COVID-19 Shot After Contracting The Virus? Read To Know

Amid the advancement of COVID-19 vaccination drives across the globe, the confusion and rumours around the efficacy of the vaccines are still rising. People are trying to find answers to their questions like – ”When do they become immune to the virus?”, ”How long does the immunity last?” and many more.

Well, these confusions exist because people tend to believe every rumour they come across, while the World Health Organisation (WHO) has appealed multiple times to only trust the authentic sources about the information related to Coronavirus.

One of the most prevalent confusions around the Coronavirus vaccines these days is how long should a person wait to get the vaccine after getting infected.

Busting the myth

Some of the researchers have recently claimed that a person can take the COVID-19 vaccine right after recovering from the disease but only if they do not have any symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, suggests waiting for 90 days from the day you test positive for COVID-19 disease if you haven’t received any shot yet.

The CDC also suggests, people who got infected after receiving their first shot may take the second dose on their scheduled date, but only if their quarantine period is over and they do not have any symptoms.

The CDC has also clarified that if you have had COVID-19 and now you have recovered, you must be having some natural protection against the virus, but it is still unclear how long that immunity is going to last.

Additional Information

The CDC has suggested not to take the vaccine for at least 90 days if you have undergone an antibody therapy for COVID-19.

Currently, India has vaccinated over 62.5 lakh healthcare workers and frontline workers. The authorities have confirmed that about 3.3 lakh people are being inoculated on a daily basis.

What should you actually worry about?

The authorities, however, have cautioned COVID-infected people not to get the vaccine if they have any symptoms of the disease. Moreover, long-haulers, people who have recovered from COVID-19 but still have some symptoms, should consult their physician before taking the shot.

Prevalent myths related to COVID-19 vaccinations

There are plenty of myths that are discouraging people from showing up at the vaccination centres, causing a huge blow to India’s fight against the Coronavirus. Here we have listed a few myths which CDC has described as completely baseless:

The possible vaccine side-effects

Many people around the country believe that those who are taking the vaccine shots are suffering from serious side effects. They agree that the people may suffer from some mild side effects, which are listed below:

More serious side-effects include:

Takeaway

With the kind of results India’s indigenous vaccines are fetching, people have started showing more interest in taking the shot for COVID-19. We, however, have to work together to stop the spread of misconceptions to eventually defeat the disease which had literally confined the world to their houses. 

Let’s pledge not to forward any information related to the disease without cross-checking it with the official sources, like the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, WHO, CDC, etc.

Know your current health status.

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.

Are You On The First Priority List for COVID-19 Vaccine?

As India has finally successfully developed its own vaccine to overcome the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is wondering when they would get a shot of it, which most probably may restore the actual “normalcy” in their life.

Well, an expert panel with the government’s health ministry, the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration (NEGVAC), has come up with a prioritisation list to identify the most vulnerable populations in an effort to reduce the mortality rate and burden on the healthcare system.

Who will get the vaccine first?

As every one of you was already guessing, healthcare workers (HCWs) are the first in line to get the vaccine. It means, doctors, nurses, every worker in the healthcare setup, will be the first to get the vaccines. As per the NEGVAC, there are about 1 crore HCWs across the country.

The second slot in the priority list is reserved for frontline workers (FLWs), who include state and central police department cops, home guard, armed forces and civil defence organizations, including municipal workers and disaster management volunteers. The overall population of FLWs in the country is about two crores.

After covering these two groups, the expert panel has finalized a prioritized age group, which covers people above 50 years of age, and those below 50 years of age having associated comorbidities. As per the data collected by the expert panel, the population of such people is about 27 crore in India.

The age group of above 50 years has been subdivided into two parts – first of those above 60 years, and then of the people between 50 and 60 years. This bifurcation has been done for purposes of the phasing of roll out based on pandemic situation and vaccine availability.

Once the priority groups are covered, the remaining population will be vaccinated based on the disease epidemiology and vaccine availability.

How has the data been prepared?

The expert panel is referring to the latest electoral roll of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections to figure out the eligible candidates for the vaccinations. The age will be calculated as of January 1, 2021. So, those who were born on or before January 1, 1971, will fall under the category to be vaccinated as per the priority list.

Moreover, the government has already started collecting data on healthcare workers across the states, union territories, and central ministries. The collected data is being uploaded on CO-WIN software, a digital platform for real-time monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine delivery and it will be verified at multiple levels before beginning the vaccination process.

The beneficiaries are required to register on the CO-WIN software beforehand in order to avail the vaccine. The government hasn’t set any provision for on-the-spot registration for any candidate.

How many vaccinators does India have?

The central government of India has confirmed that they currently have 2.39 lakh vaccinators (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife-ANM), of whom only 1.54 lakh will be used to administer the COVID-19 vaccine shots. The aim of not using all of them is to minimize the effect on routine healthcare services across the country, including routine immunization.

What’s India’s cold chain capacity for vaccine storage?

The government has claimed that the current cold chain has the capacity of storing vaccines for the first three crore health workers across the country.

Over and above this, the government also confirmed that the plan and infrastructure are ready to kick start massive production of COVID-19 vaccines as soon as the scientists and researchers give a green signal.

How many COVID-19 vaccine candidates are in line?

Three major firms i.e. Serum Institute of India, Pfizer Inc and Bharat Biotech have applied for Emergency Use Approval in the last few days. The regulatory framework of the country has a specific provision for granting the emergency use authorization. Emergency use approval of the COVID-19 vaccines will be granted after sufficient evidence regarding their safety and effectiveness.

Conclusion :

The NEGVAC has prepared a detailed and authentic plan for rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine, and the people, who do not fall in the selected categories for phase 1 rollout, should not panic. The panel surely has a plan in place for covering the remaining population of the country in the months to come.

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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