After months of waiting, it may finally be your turn to get the vaccine. It’s a reminder that, after months of staying indoors and quarantine, you can return to some semblance of normalcy with COVID appropriate behavior, sooner rather than later. But before you celebrate or make travel plans, it’s always a good idea to read up about the vaccines so you and those around you are armed and ready for this potentially lifesaving step.
Until recently, in India, vaccinations against COVID-19 were given only to frontline workers and those over the age of 45. Amid a virulent second wave of COVID-19 infections, the Government of India now allows everyone over the age of 18 to get the vaccination starting May 1, 2021 in the third phase of India’s inoculation program.
Getting vaccinated is a massive moment for you, your family, your community, and the world. You’re not only protecting yourself but also your loved ones and those around you.
This quick overview will help make the process seamless and prepare you for what's coming.
o On the arm where you got the shot:
o Rest of your body
- Muscle pain
You can speak with your doctor and take basic over-the-counter medication like antihistamines, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. to relieve any post-vaccination side effects, discomfort, and pain. Along with the medications, you need to:
o Take ample rest
o Drink plenty of fluids
o Avoid strenuous physical activity
o Get enough sleep
o Do as you would with the regular flu.
Side effects may be more intense than the first shot. Again, it’s normal and the way your body builds immunity. You can follow the same protocols as above.
Being fully vaccinated has some advantages, like community-wide resilience against the virus and contributing to herd immunity. However, you need to continue to stay safe and follow norms as with all things COVID; the answers are not absolute and are subject to change.
While there are cases of reinfection after one or both doses of the vaccine, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as on April 21, 2021, it’s two to four per 10,000 people or of the 1.1 crore Covaxin vaccinated beneficiaries only 0.04 percent were re-infected. Similarly for Covishield, of 11.6 crore recipients, after the second dose, only 5,014 (0.03 percent) tested positive. It’s a very small number.
Hence, it’s essential you follow protocols and keep an eye out for common symptoms, especially if you’ve been around someone who tested positive. If you do experience symptoms, stay home and away from others and get tested at the earliest.
- It’s known that vaccines for COVID-19 are effective at preventing the disease, especially severe illness and death.
o What’s still under investigation is the effectiveness of the vaccine against different variants of the COVID-19 causing virus. Research suggests that it’s advantageous against a few variants, but possibly less against others.
- It’s known preventive steps are extremely essential to stop the spread of the virus, and they continue to be of utmost importance even in the presence of the vaccine.
o It’s still under investigation how well the vaccine keeps people from spreading COVID-19. The more people get vaccinated, the more the learning.
Until the answers to such questions are known, it’s best for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people to continue to take steps to protect themselves and others.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare set up an online digital platform to drive the COVID-19 vaccination program in the country, called ‘CoWIN.’
Through this platform, you have access to real-time information on various COVID-19 vaccine-related information such as individualized tracking of beneficiaries for the COVID-19 vaccine, COVID-19 vaccine stocks, centers near you, etc.
1. You can self-register yourself on the ‘CoWIN’ platform (cowin.gov.in).
2. After you click on ‘'register/sign in yourself’ enter your phone number and OTP.
3. You will then land on the 'Registration of Vaccination' page. Enter the details as required and click on ‘register.’
4. The GPS system will detect your location and recommend Covid Vaccination Centers (CVC), both available from Government and Private Health Facilities, near you.
5. You can pick and choose a time and place as per your convenience.
While registering, the platform will ask for identity proof and you can use any of the following:
Once you get the first shot, you will receive an SMS and a provisional certificate. After the second dose, you will get a QR code-based certificate and a link to download the digital certificate of vaccination. Both on your registered mobile number.
Amidst all the gloomy news, the vaccine gives everyone a note of optimism. Along with that, owing to the effort made to collect data, everyone also knows a lot more about how to manage this disease better. This goes to show that you’re gaining an upper hand on the pandemic and, with a little patience, the outlook is brightening.
If your COVID-19 vaccine is on your mind, leave all the nervousness or anxiousness behind. For most people, it’s a breeze and you'll be back on your feet in no time! Plus, if you sign up with Loop Health, you'll have dedicated healthcare staff by your side to ensure it goes smoothly.