All those who are being vaccinated for COVID-19 need to register themselves for a second one after a gap of 28 days. There have been stray cases of people not turning up for the second dose thinking one dose is enough for their safety or due to sheer complacency. There are others who question the need for a second dose.
According to Dr Farah Ingale, Director, internal medicine at Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, before answering this question, one needs to understand just how important vaccination is.
COVID19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection. If you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, coworkers and others around you. The vaccines, on the other hand, help to build immunity and are instrumental in breaking the chain of spread, the doctor told The Indian Express (TIE).
“The two vaccines available in India, Covaxin and Covishield have gone through rigorous clinical efficacy processes and trials, after which they have been certified for public administration. They are safe and must be taken after seeking advice from your physician,” she said.
“It takes about two-three weeks for antibodies to develop after the first dose is taken. With the first dose, people develop antibodies slowly, but with the second dose, this process gets faster. A minimum 28-day gap, therefore, is appropriate. Many countries are maintaining a gap of around three months to ensure the maximum number of people in their country get inoculated. In India, our approach has been different. Through our phased approach — which keeps in mind our population size — we are hoping people receive their vaccination in a timely manner,” explained Dr Ingale, the report added.
What should you do between the two doses?
According to the doctor, receiving the first dose doesn’t mean you will not get infected.
“You can still get COVID-19 even after your second dose, but it will be an extremely mild one, and may not need hospitalisation,” he told TIE.
- Wear a mask when outside, avoiding crowded gatherings.
- Don’t travel to places where there’s no way to know if the people around you have been vaccinated.
- After vaccination, you may experience common side-effects like pain, light fever, tiredness, body ache, etc., so drink plenty of fluids, and apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area.
- Eat nutritious food to improve immunity.
- Ensure you get a good sleep.
- Most importantly, do not consider yourself to be immune to the dreaded virus.