The Centre has come out with detailed frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Covid-19 vaccination, in an attempt to answer many questions that are being asked by the general public.
Here are the answers to the questions on Covid-19 vaccination:
Should you avoid alcohol after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine?
The Health Ministry says that as per experts “there is no evidence of alcohol impairing the effectiveness of the vaccine”.
Claims on social media suggested the Covid-19 vaccine could affect female fertility. Is it true?
The Health Ministry says rumours or social media posts suggesting Covid-19 vaccines could cause infertility “are not true and totally baseless”.
“None of the available vaccines affects fertility. All vaccines and their constituents are tested first on animals and later in humans to assess if they have any such side effects. Vaccines are authorised for use only after their safety and efficacy are assured,” the ministry says.
What are the precautions one needs to take after receiving the vaccine?
The Health Ministry has assured that both the vaccines are safe but in “case of any discomfort or complaint”, the beneficiaries are advised to visit the nearest health facility or call the health worker whose phone number is given in the CoWIN SMS received after vaccination.
What medications should be avoided before taking the Covid-19 vaccine and for how long?
The Health Ministry says there are no such instructions: One can take one’s regular medication uninterruptedly. Just inform the vaccinator about the medicines you consume.
The Health Ministry has advised caution in vaccinating persons with a history of bleeding or coagulation disorder. How does a person know if he/she has a coagulation disorder? What tests can be conducted?
The Ministry has said that in a few bleeding disorders, like haemophilia, persons should take the vaccine “under the supervision of their treating physician”.
Also, patients who are admitted to hospital or ICU and have bleeding problems “should delay the vaccination till they are discharged”.
However, several people with heart and brain disorders are on blood thinners like aspirin and anti-platelet drugs “can continue with their medicines and have the vaccines”, and that vaccines are absolutely safe for this category.
If I suffer from hypertension, Diabetic Mellitus, Chronic Kidney Disease, heart disease or lipid disorders, can I safely take this vaccine?
Overall, the vaccine is safe and efficacious in adults with comorbidity, the Health Ministry has said, adding that the maximum benefit of getting the Covid vaccine ‘is for those who have such comorbidities”.
“However, if you are concerned for any specific reason, please consult your doctor,” it has recommended.
The health advisory also states that those with immunity issues should be cautious about taking the vaccine. What are the markers of ‘immunity issues’?
The Health Ministry says immune issues are of two types: one, immunosuppression due to any disease such as AIDS, and people on immunosuppressant drugs such as anti-cancer drugs, steroids; second, immunodeficiency in people who suffers from some defect in the body’s protective system such as congenital immunodeficiency.
“Currently, available Covid vaccines do not have any live virus and therefore individuals with immune issues can have the vaccine safely. But the vaccine may not be as effective in them,” the Health Ministry has said.
It also emphasised that this category of patients “should inform the vaccinator about the medicines they consume and if they are suffering from any known immune issues”. “The vaccinator should have a record of one’s medical condition,” the Health Ministry has said.
Is the vaccine contraindicated in a person with chronic diseases?
Chronic diseases and morbidities like cardiac, neurological, pulmonary, pulmonary, metabolic, renal and malignancies, etc. are not contraindicated, the Health Ministry has reiterated.
“In fact, the benefit of Covid vaccines to reduce the risk of severe Covid disease and death is for those who have these co-morbidities,” it said.
If I had Covid-19 and was treated, should I take the vaccine?
The Health Ministry has said that “development of immunity or duration of protection” after Covid-19 exposure is not established; therefore it is recommended to receive the vaccine even after Covid-19 infection. “Wait for 4-8 weeks after recovery from Covid symptoms before getting the vaccine,” it has recommended.
I have an allergy to a specific drug. Can I get vaccinated?
The Health Ministry has listed the category of persons with a history of immediate or delayed onset anaphylaxis or allergic reaction to pharmaceutical products, food items, injectable therapies – as a contraindication. Therefore, this category is not advised to take the vaccine.
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