COVID-19 Side-Effects: With over 6 million people vaccinated since the launch of the Covid vaccination drive on January 16, India has become the third country, after the US and UK, in the world with the highest number of Covid vaccines administered. With this in mind, Dr Naresh Trehan, chairman of Medanta Hospital, explains whether one should be worried about side-effects and what to do if they do occur.
Covaxin and Covishield were rolled out on January 16 across India to vaccinate 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase of the vaccination drive.
Covaxin is produced under a collaboration between Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Covishield has been developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University with the Serum Institute of India manufacturing the vaccine for India and low- and middle-income countries.
Minor side-effects: Often people develop fever, headaches or pain at the site of injection a few hours or maybe a day after being vaccinated. For mild fever, paracetamol can be taken. If your fever is above 102 degrees Fahrenheit, then it is important to report it to the relevant authority and visit a doctor.
Strong and immediate reaction: Some people can have a strong allergic reaction to the vaccine within half an hour of getting injected. This is quite rare and happens among those previously prone to allergic reactions. Most vaccination centres keep those being dosed under observation as a precaution and such reactions can be treated with medicine and care. We haven’t had any vaccine-related deaths in India yet. Some deaths have been reported after vaccination, but they have not been attributed directly to the vaccine.
Follow your vaccine schedule: It is important to take your second dose on time and to follow the advice of doctors and nurses who are administering the vaccine. Don’t skip your second dose if you had a minor reaction to the first. Some side-effects can happen after a vaccine dose but they need not be harmful and should not deter you from your second shot.