Since the COVID-19 pandemic has dawned upon us, researchers all around the world have been endlessly working to develop COVID-19 vaccines that could prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Big pharma companies like Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and others have been coordinating tirelessly with biotechnology companies to fasten the process of developing the corona vaccine.
Several vaccines for Coronavirus have come up. In the USA, three vaccines have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration – Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, Moderna vaccine, and Johnson & Johnson vaccine. In UK, Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna, AstraZeneca are some of the few vaccines that have been authorized for use.
In India, Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin have been authorized by the government for the vaccination drive. Sputnik V is also being rolled out for use in India soon. A digital platform called CoWIN has been developed to maintain a record for the COVID vaccine and for booking vaccine slots at the nearest health centers. India’s vaccination program has focused on priority groups, including front-line workers like doctors, nurses, medical officers, students, and other workers. The age group of 50-60 years and above has also been prioritized. In a recent announcement, the Indian government has put a new focus on the 18+ age group.
A vaccine is essentially a medicine that helps a person strengthen and improve his/her immune system to combat any infectious disease. As per the World Health Organisation, when a vaccine is injected into your body, a dead form of the bacteria or virus is introduced into your body, pushing your body to form antibodies against the foreign substance. The antibodies are formed as a preventive measure to fight against any infection in the future. Vaccines boost the production of proteins in our body that fights against the pathogens that could enter the body at any point in time. So, a vaccine keeps your body in a combat mode where your immunity system is always on one’s guard.
It is especially important to note here that the vaccines that have been rolled out for COVID-19 have been medically tested and have undergone multiple clinical trials. Governments across the world have been trying to maintain equity and fairness in the distribution of these vaccines.
One important question that would be resonating in your mind regarding the vaccines would be ‘how long after vaccination will I develop immunity to covid-19?’ Read on to know the answer to this pressing question.
The coronavirus vaccine introduces an inactive form of the virus to your body, where your immunity system analyses this foreign substance and forces your body to produce antibodies against it. This way, your body is prepared for fighting coronavirus when an alive virus will enter the bloodstream. However, it is important to note that immunity does not come immediately after receiving the vaccine for COVID-19. Ideally, it takes up to 2 weeks for your body to build up immunization against the Coronavirus. Due to this phenomenon, you are vulnerable to the virus during this time frame.
Another important thing to note is that you need two vaccine shots to gain long-term immunity against the virus. Without the two doses being administered as per the specified schedule, the vaccine will not provide lasting protection against the virus. According to medical experts, it has been noted that two-week immunity may appear after the first dose, but it starts to weaken gradually. So, it is extremely important to receive both doses of the vaccine to achieve full immunization and protection against the Coronavirus.
All vaccines have a different gap period between the first and second shots. For Pfizer-BioNTech, the recommended gap between the first and second doses is 21 days, while for the Moderna vaccine, the recommended gap between the two doses is 28 days. Both the doses should be of the same vaccine. You should not mix two vaccines, i.e., it should not be that you receive the first dose of Moderna vaccine and the second dose of Pfizer vaccine. This implies that both doses should be of the same vaccine to avoid any unwanted complications. Mixing two vaccines can not only reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine, but it can also pose a serious threat to your health.
It might happen that due to some emergency, you are unable to receive the second dose of the same vaccine. In that case, you need not need start over the vaccine process afresh. Just try to get your jab as soon as possible after the due date has passed.
When you receive the vaccine, you may experience side effects such as chills, fever, or fatigue. You should not stress over this as these are signs indicating your immune response to the vaccine – which is a positive development. On the other hand, some people do not experience any reaction from the vaccine; this is also not a sign of worry only if you experience any severe reaction should your consult a doctor.
The medical researchers are not yet sure of how long the immunity from the vaccines will last. That is why it is especially important for everyone who gets vaccinated and continue to take precautions. Moreover, regular booster shots might be required to maintain the efficacy of the vaccine.
You should wear masks and carry a hand sanitizer whenever you are traveling. You should also follow social distancing rules and maintain 6 feet or 2 meters from people around you.
Efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines
As per the research studies published in the Lancet, the efficacy of the leading vaccines being administered against the SARS-COV-2 has been rated as follows: -
During the few weeks after the first dose of the corona vaccine, you are extremely vulnerable to the Coronavirus. Hence, you must remain cautious and avoid venturing out for at least the first two weeks after receiving the vaccine shot, for it requires two doses to strengthen your immune cells against the virus.
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