New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: More than 42 million people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in India so far. And now the government has eased the age of vaccinations in India allowing those aged over 45 to get vaccinated from April 1. Vaccine is the need of the hour, but a lot of people are concerned about its safety and side-effects.

To ally all such fears, we at Jagran Dialogues, have come up with answers to some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding COVID-19 vaccine.  

Jagran New Media’s Urvashi Kapoor and Sanyukta Baijal held a comprehensive discussion on the coronavirus vaccine with Dr Kanupriya Singhal, Health Specialist, UNICEF and Dr. Nikhil Modi, Sr Consultant, Respiratory and Pulmonary Care, Apollo Hospitals. Take a look at what do they have to say:

Q: Should people with diabetes or high cholesterol get vaccinated?

A: Dr. Kanupriya answered, "Those who have diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, comorbidities, they should take the vaccine first. There are no contra-indications. If one has various combinations of health conditions then vaccination is very important. In the cases of COVID incidences or mortality is more in the people who are comorbid. If you are above 45 above and are comorbid then take vaccine immediately."

Q: Is the vaccine safe for people who are taking blood thinners?

A: Dr. Nikhil said, "When COVID vaccines were introduced, warnings were issued for those who are allergic to drugs, 2. for breastfeeding and pregnant ladies also, because there were no trials done on them, the ones who have active infection or fever, the ones who are on blood thinner need to be a little cautious. This shot is injected in the muscle where a small vein can get ruptured. This may lead to blood collection hematoma. One needs to make sure that after getting vaccinated press the spot with force so that hematoma doesn't occur. There are no contra-indications that ones with blood thinners shouldn't take the medicine. You should consult your treating physician before getting vaccinated."

Q:  What should be the gap between the first and second dosage of COVID-19 vaccine?

A: Dr. Nikhil said, "The second dose will be given after 8 weeks. From 4 to 12 weeks, one can receive the second dosage of vaccine anytime. After the first vaccine, antibodies start forming in the body. Meanwhile, the second dose is a booster and after 15 days antibody level is a booster. Vaccine efficacy is 70-80%. if 10 people are getting vaccinated then 7-8 people will get a response while 2-3 out of them may not have antibodies formed. If we achieve 70-80% then herd immunity concept will be achieved, chain of transmission will be broken. Everyone should get vaccinated."

Q: What are the reasons for the spike in COVID-19 cases?

A: Dr. Nikhil said, "It's people's laxity, they have stopped bothering about it. Mask is merely a showpiece, with distancing, the chain of transmission was broken till now. Sero survey has taken place all over India, 30% people do not have seropositivity, to break herd immunity and chain of transmission we need as many as 65% of Seropositivity. Until 60% population doesn't get vaccinated and the number of people who have been tested COVID positive do not have 65-75% antibodies till then safety measures like sanitization, mask, social distancing should be followed. Till now not even 1% people have been vaccinated, still, a long way to go, it may take a year for these many people to get vaccinated."

Q: Is COVID-19 vaccine safe for children? 

A: Dr. Kanupriya said, "When the vaccine was introduced, a clinical trial for kids wasn't there. It is under trial for children. Until the trial is complete and the data of efficacy and safety is found, also until the authorization is done, the kids needs to be saved. Precautions need to be taken in the schools, children, staff, and everyone should wear masks, physical distancing should be maintained, hand wash provisions should be there, assembly or such events should be avoided. Children have asymptomatic infections, we have inter-generational families where three generations live together if kids get infected, then parents or grand parents might get infected too. Till the covid vaccine is approved for kids, covid-appropriate behaviour needs to be followed."

Watch this video of Jagran Dialogues to know more on COVID-19 vaccine

Posted By: Sanyukta Baijal