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COVID-19 vaccination drive | Should you get the jab? Check these side effects first

COVID-19 vaccination drive was expanded on March 1 to include senior citizens and those aged 45-59 who have comorbidities.

March 03, 2021 / 02:10 PM IST
(Image: AP)

(Image: AP)

The government, on March 1, began Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination drive expanding the rollout to beneficiaries above 60 or those aged 45-60 with comorbidities. The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses given in the country has crossed 1.54 crore, including 6,09,845 shots administered on March 1, the Union Health Ministry said.

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As the vaccination drive picks up, many are still hesitant and worried about the possible side effects of the jab. Here is a comprehensive list of possible adverse events experienced after taking Covaxin, Covishield:

Should you not take Covaxin?

You should not take Covaxin if you have fever, bleeding disorder, are immune-compromised, are pregnant/breastfeeding and/or have received another COVID-19 vaccine.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Additionally, people with a history of allergies and those with other serious health-related issues should skip the vaccine, as per Bharat Biotech's fact-sheet.

While the Covaxin factsheet released in January says that people on blood thinners should avoid the vaccine, the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has recently said that both vaccines available in India are safe for beneficiaries on blood thinners.

Speaking at a press conference on February 2, ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said, "People on blood thinners can take either of the vaccines without any problem. There are some precautions to be followed which are routine and simple."

What are the side effects of Covaxin?

Injection site pain, swelling, redness, itching, stiffness in the upper arm, weakness in the injection arm, body ache, headache, fever, malaise, weakness, rashes, nausea, vomiting.

Additionally, there is a remote chance that the Covaxin could cause a severe allergic reaction.

Read: Here are 10 things to know about SII's Covishield vaccine from package insert & factsheet

Who will not be given Oxford's Covishield vaccine?

Individuals with certain contraindications like pregnant and lactating women, people with a history of allergic reaction and those who have had an immediate or delayed allergic reaction to vaccines or injectable therapies, pharmaceutical products, and food items will also not be given the vaccine.

Additionally, people with active symptoms of COVID-19 infection and those acutely unwell and hospitalised (with or without intensive care) will not be administered Covishield.

In Pics | From Narayana Murthy to Uday Kotak; here's a list of people who received COVID-19 vaccine

What are the side effects of Covishield?

Common side effects that may affect more than 1 in 10 people are tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching, swelling, or bruising where the injection is given, generally feeling unwell, fatigue, chills, headache, nausea, and joint pains, as per the Serum Institute's factsheet.

Common side effects also include fever, vomiting, and flu-like symptoms such as high temperature, sore throat, runny nose, cough, and chills.

Uncommon side effects affecting up to 1 in 100 people are feeling dizzy, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, enlarged lymph nodes, excessive sweat, and skin rashes.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 3, 2021 11:46 am

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