The theme of World Health Day 2021 is ‘Building a fairer, healthier world’. On the occasion, doctors from all over the country gave a green signal to the vaccination drive.
Health should be the utmost priority for everyone and the year 2020 well advocated this fact with the help of the Coronavirus pandemic. After a year, when the government launched Coronavirus vaccines in January 2021, it aroused genuine skepticism as the third phase of the trial was still underway. This led to many being hesitant towards taking the vaccine. After 30 million people being vaccinated so far, there are various doubts regarding the vaccines that surround the life of a common person in India. However, On World Health Day, 2021, doctors are now emphasizing its efficacy.
Dr. V Saxena, a general practitioner and the vaccination head for the Uttarakhand government states that people need not worry about the after-effects of the vaccine. “All vaccination centres are under surveillance of government. India has reported only 0.01% of adverse events following immunization (AEFI) since January 16,” She says.
Being the first woman to get vaccinated in Kashipur, Uttarakhand, Dr. Saxena explains vaccine as “dead virus introduced into the body to create immune system towards it”.
Dr. Shilpa Garg, a medical officer, who is organising the vaccination drive in 17 villages of Haryana says that people need not panic.
“One should keep themselves hydrated after taking the vaccine. Take fruits and vegetables but avoid the consumption of alcohol for a few days, before and after taking the vaccine,” Dr. Garg adds.
Along with the doctors involved in the process of vaccination, there are doctors from other medical fields giving a nod to the vaccination.
Dr. Deepa Nambiar, an Obstetrician-gynecologist from Bengaluru says that one should not be scared before taking the vaccine. “Doctors assess the status of patients and monitor for any side effects,” she says.
Dr. Nambiar also believes that taking the vaccine is also a social responsibility for people towards others. Currently, India is going through the second phase of vaccination for people above 45 years of age.
According to the criteria for taking vaccination, people need to notify doctors in case of any prior conditions. Shraddha Ray, a dentist from Odisha talks about such criteria in detail. “People suffering from any pre-medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, etc should inform their doctors before taking a dose. Anaphylactic or allergic individuals should refrain from the vaccine,” she says.
Dr. Ray also suggests that people should get themselves examined for allergic reactions after taking the vaccines.
At present, vaccine centres are using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, popular as Covishield in India. Another one is Covaxin which is being used in the inoculation drive.
Dr. Krina Pandya, a Homeopath, nutritionist, and counsellor from Ahmedabad advises people to sleep for a while after taking the vaccine. “One should try taking rest and sleep after taking the dose of vaccine. It’s also important to avoid eating processed food,” she adds.
While talking about the food after taking the vaccine, Dr. Pandya says that people should take an anti-inflammatory diet. “Take lemon juice to avoid post-vaccination nausea. One can also take homeopathic medicines to keep immunity in check,” Dr. Pandya suggests.
Bharat Biotech, which has developed Covaxin, was about to release the efficacy data for the vaccine in February, one month after the vaccination drive started. However, it released the data in March giving the green signal to both, Covishield and Covaxin.
Counter the arguments that spread through social media, Zahabiya Delawala, a private doctor from Mumbai says that people should not believe in rumours. “Take paracetamol 500 in case of fever after taking the vaccine. Such fever is common after getting inoculated,” she adds.
Dr. Delawala also emphasized the importance of wearing a mask and following COVID-19 safety norms after taking the vaccine.
The government had started the first phase of vaccination for senior citizens on January 16. However, the second phase for people over 45 years had begun on March 1. Both the phases require people to carry their identity proof.