Last year this time, we stayed home just praying for the vaccines to come out and wipe this pandemic off the globe.
Now, a year later, when the vaccines are finally in place, the world is limping back to its feet. Currently, being administered to comorbid and people above 45 years, the vaccine will be available for everyone above 18 years from May 1.
Although a lot of Indians have taken their first vaccine shot, there is no clarity regarding post-vaccine precautions. The awareness is seriously lacking, and the questions are mounting.
Below are the answers to some FAQs that will tell you what to do and what to avoid after your first shot.
Does the vaccine give immediate protection against the virus?
In simple words, no it does not. A person is not fully vaccinated until two weeks after receiving the second dose. Plus, the vaccines are at best 80 percent effective. That means 2 out of every 10 immunised people can still contract the virus.
Do I still have to wear a mask and maintain social distancing after taking the vaccine?
Yes. The first dose just primes the body for further immunity. The chances of you contracting the virus are still prevalent. Hence, it is important to wear a mask and follow other safety measures.
Moreover, you could become the carrier of the virus, and infect other people if you don’t take precautions.
I don’t feel well after taking the first dose, is it normal?
Yes, it is totally normal to feel uneasy. Some side effects are expected, and they are an indication that your body is building immune protection. Some common side-effects are – pain, swelling or redness on your arm where you received the vaccine, chills or mild fever, tiredness, headaches, joint or muscle pain – they will go away within a few days, do not panic.
When should I take the second vaccine dose?
It is ideal to maintain a gap of at least 8-10 weeks between both shots. It’s crucial that you do not skip taking the second dose, as only then the chances of you being immune to the virus will stand a chance. Only if the vaccination provider or your doctor advises you not to take the second dose, you can skip it.
Other things to keep in mind
- You can take paracetamol if you feel feverish.
- Do not apply ice on your arm where you got vaccinated. Instead, you can apply a wet clean cloth to ease the pain.
- If your symptoms are more severe or are lasting longer than a week, consult your doctor.
- Be sure to keep yourself hydrated.
Stay strong, stay home, stay safe!