With the pandemic raging, vaccines are the only source of relief for people. However, with so many vaccines in the market, it can be confusing to understand which vaccine is the safest option. Here, we have a conversation with Dr Charu Dutt Arora, Chief Intensivist and Covid Care Expert, who answers the most asked questions about vaccination.
Do I have an option of choosing which vaccine I can take?
Yes, everyone has their option of choosing the vaccine, whether it is Covishield or Covaxin or now Sputnik V. However, one must not waste time and delay the process, rather they should get vaccinated as early as they get a slot.
My first dose was that of Covishield, can I take a shot of Covaxin as the second dose or vice versa?
No. One must take both shots of the same vaccine.
I tested positive for COVID-19 after taking the first vaccine dose. How long should I wait before I take the second dose of the vaccine? Or will I have to take both doses again?
One can wait for 84 days after recovery from their COVID-19 disease. You don’t need both doses again.
I am pregnant, should I get vaccinated?
Yes, pregnant women must get vaccinated. It is one of the most effective ways to keep them and their babies safe.
Are there any side effects of vaccines? What are they? Are they normal?
There are no major side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. Most of the side effects are minor and they include body pain, low-grade fever, headache, weakness and pain at the site of inoculation. These symptoms can last for 48-72 hours post-vaccination and you don’t have to worry.
Can I consume alcohol a day before, on the day or a day after I have taken a vaccine shot?
It is always advised to refrain from consuming alcohol for a period of a week post-vaccination. This is to prevent any chances of dehydration and muscle pain. However, there are no clinical trials to relate the efficacy of vaccines and alcohol consumption.
I am on medication for comorbidities, do I need to stop taking the medicines before or after vaccination?
No. There is no need to stop any medication before or after vaccination. In case of multiple co-morbidities, one must consult their physician before getting vaccinated.
Until kids become eligible for vaccination, how can we protect them?
The only and most effective way of preventing COVID-19 transmission in children is following the COVID appropriate behaviour. It includes masking (above the age of 5 years), hand hygiene and maintaining physical distancing. Recent studies have shown promising results of vaccination in children and adolescents as well.
What kind of foods can help boost the child’s immunity?
High protein, high fibre and a diet rich in fluids are very important in boosting immunity. Some superfoods such as soybean, broccoli, berries, beans, lentils and green leafy vegetables are highly nutritious and protective against COVID-19.
When will a vaccine for children be available? Will they also have to take two doses?
Currently, there are 6-7 vaccines that are being studied in phases for vaccination in children. It is likely that kids will also need 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. We expect that the vaccine will be available for children before the end of 2021.