As the country is embarking on its accelerated vaccine drive to cover all adults nationwide Indianarrative.com presents in a nutshell the views of top doctors of the National Tuberculosis Institute (NTI), Bangalore and Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Goa on the correct timing of the vaccine and how to maximise its benefit.
The expert panel of doctors who participated in the discussion include Dr. Somashekhara, Director, NTI, Dr. Vineet Kumar Chadha, Advisor, NTI, Dr. C. Ravichandra, CMO-NFSG, Head of Training Division, NTI, Dr. Mamatha H.G, Consultant Microbiologist, NTI, Prof. Raghurama, BITS, Goa.
* If you get infected by COVID-19 after the first dose of the vaccine, wait until your results become negative. Take the second dose, 4 weeks after resolution of symptoms.
* If you are yet to take the vaccine but have tested positive for COVID-19, you should delay vaccination by 3 to 4 weeks.
* Ideal period for the second dose of the vaccine is 8 to 12 weeks.
Even if you delay by another 3 to 4 weeks, it is not going to decrease the efficacy of the vaccine.
* Remember, even after taking the vaccine, you should continue to take precautions as you can still get infected although the chances are much lower. Vaccine also helps prevent severe illness and death even if you get infected after taking the shots.
* There is a risk of catching COVID infection even in open air even if we are wearing a mask, but someone near us is not. That is why everyone needs to observe COVID-19 appropriate behaviours. Only then we can get over this deadly pandemic.
* In case of breastfeeding mothers, it is better to wean the baby into other foods and then vaccinate. But if chances of infection are high, better to vaccinate even if lactating.
* In case of pregnant mothers, there is no clear data on whether the vaccine has any effect on the foetus.