The government recently announced that everyone above the age of 18 would be eligible for vaccination from May 1, the registration process for which will begin on April 28.
Amid reports of some people contracting the virus even after getting vaccinated, medical experts have advised that one should continue to follow COVID-19 protocol even after the jab.
The Health Ministry has also issued some guidelines on COVID-19 vaccination. Similar guidelines have been laid down by World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Take a look:
Can a person with COVID-19 (confirmed or suspected) be vaccinated?
The Health Ministry says on its website that such people may increase the risk of spreading the virus to others at the vaccination site. “For this reason, infected individuals should defer vaccination for 14 days after symptoms resolution.”
If I had COVID-19 and was treated, do I need to get vaccinated?
It is advisable to complete the COVID-19 vaccine schedule irrespective of past history of infection with COVID-19. “This will help in developing a strong immune response against the disease. Development of immunity or duration of protection after COVID-19 exposure is not established therefore it is recommended to receive vaccine even after COVID-19 infection. Wait for 4-8 weeks after recovery from COVID symptoms before getting the vaccine.”
When am I “fully vaccinated”?
According to CDC, one can be considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after the second dose of the vaccine.
Do I need to wear a mask and take COVID-19 appropriate precautions after getting vaccinated?
The Health Ministry says, “It is absolutely necessary that everyone who has received the COVID-19 vaccine should continue to follow the COVID-19 appropriate behaviour i.e., mask, do gaj ki doori (social distancing) and hand sanitization to protect themselves and those around from spreading the infection.”
“For the first fourteen days after getting a vaccination, you do not have significant levels of protection, then it increases gradually. For a single-dose vaccine, immunity will generally occur two weeks after vaccination. For two-dose vaccines, both doses are needed to achieve are required to provide the highest level of best immunity possible,” mentions WHO.
Can I meet other people after I am fully vaccinated?
CDC mentions that a person who is fully vaccinated can:
*Visit inside a home or private setting without a mask with other fully vaccinated people of any age
*Visit inside a home or private setting without a mask with one household of unvaccinated people who are not at risk for severe illness
However, fully vaccinated people should not:
*Visit indoors, without a mask, with people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19
*Attend medium or large gatherings
One who is fully vaccinated should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, “especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.”
Do I need to take precautions at my workplace?
The CDC recommends that one should continue to take safety precautions at their workplace and follow the guidelines laid out by the organisation.
Can I hug my kids/grandkids?
One who is vaccinated can hug their unvaccinated children or grandchildren who are all living in the same household and are not at high risk for severe disease, Namandje Bumpus, an expert in pharmacology and molecular science, mentions in an article on hopkinsmedicine.org.
How long will I remain protected against the virus after vaccination?
The longevity of the immune response is “yet to be determined,” mentions the Health Ministry. “Hence, continuing the use of masks, handwashing, physical distancing and other COVID-19 appropriate behaviours are strongly recommended.”
Does the vaccination protect me against new strains?
According to the Health Ministry, all vaccines are expected to provide “some amount of protection” against the mutated virus also. “The body responds to vaccination by making more than one type of antibodies to virus parts including spike protein…Based on the available data the mutations as reported are unlikely to make the vaccine ineffective.”
As research on the same continues, WHO advises that people should do everything possible to stop the spread of the virus in order to prevent mutations. “This means staying at least 1 metre away from others, covering a cough or sneeze in your elbow, frequently cleaning your hands, wearing a mask and avoiding poorly ventilated rooms or opening a window.”