An expert answers your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine

An expert answers your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine

An expert answers your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine


Dr Bharat Gopal answers common COVID-19 and vaccine related queries

The second wave of COVID-19 is spreading like wider across the country and is even deadlier than before. The healthcare and infrastructure is reeling under the pressure, and thus, it is incumbent on each and every one of us to be responsible and try to follow safety protocols and guidelines.

One of the most important of these guidelines is to get vaccinated. Across the globe medical professionals advise one should get the vaccine as soon as possible. Read on to find common queries answered so that you no longer hesitate to get the shot:

Which vaccines are available?

There are 2 types of vaccines available Covishield and Covaxin.

Ideal wait time between both the shots?

There are 2 types of vaccines available at this time with different schedules. For Covaxin the recommended time between shots is 4-6 weeks while for Covishield it has been revised to 4-8 weeks. However there are studies showing safety and efficacy even upto 12 weeks On February 19, The Lancet published a study that said the efficacy of Covishield's two doses is 81.3 per cent when administered 12 weeks apart, in comparison to an efficacy of 55.1 per cent when administered less than six weeks apart.

Can you take Covaxcin as a second shot if u have taken Covishield for the first short and vice versa?

No, these are two different types of vaccines and should not be taken by the same individual. The second dose has to be of the same vaccine as first

If you have been Covid-19 positive should you take the vaccine or is it not required?

Yes, it is advisable to receive complete schedule of COVID vaccine irrespective of past history of infection with COVID-19. This will help in developing a strong immune response against the disease.

How long should you wait to take the vaccine after recovering from Covid-19 / testing negative?

As per MOHFW Infected individuals should defer vaccination for minimum 14 days after symptoms resolution. On the global front ,The CDC recommends a 90 day gap after testing positive.

If you have been exposed to Covid-19 and tested postive, how is it that some members of family continue to remain negative even after being exposed to you?

First reason could be a false negative report, health care experts estimate that about one-third of patients who are infected with the novel coronavirus and who are tested for it receive negative test results. The other reason in non vaccinated members is maybe they were previously infected with the new coronavirus (asymptomatic) and developed immunity against the infection

Self quarantine is key to avoiding spread and hospital is not an answer for mild cases?

Absolutely right. Majority of cases of COVID 19 are mild and can be managed easily in home quarantine and there is no need of hospitalisation. Only high risk individuals especially those with comorbidities may require hospitalisation in mild diseases

There are a lot of prescriptions floating around, should one keep these medicines as precautionary measure or only take what your doctor recommends?

A Big no- please don't take any prescription drugs without confirming with your doctor- it could be more harmful than the disease itself!

Are pets susceptible to Covid-19?

As per CDC, a small number of pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, have been reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. Based on the information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. The virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations, mostly during close contact.

How long should u wait to get tested for Covid-19 after you feel or suspect symptoms?

There is no need to wait – If you are experiencing symptoms, get tested right away.

Quarantine of 14 days from date of symptoms or from date of testing?

For Asymptomatic positive cases: Isolate for 10 days after the first positive test. For Symptomatic: Isolate for at least 10 days after symptom onset or until you have been fever free for at least 3 days, whichever is longer.

(Dr Bharat Gopal MD, DNB, FCCP(USA) Sr Consultant Pulmonology Fortis VK)

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