COVID-19 is not over yet and why vaccination is important for better fighting chance

Vaccination is a worldwide accepted strategy to encounter the COVID-19 as soon as possible with the vaccines approved by their public health authorities

A healthcare worker inoculates a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to a student. ANI

Vaccination is boon to humankind as it gives strong protection against various diseases, hospitalisation, and death. Effective vaccines are also available for COVID-19. Billions of people have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Getting vaccinated is one of the most important things one can do to safeguard oneself against COVID-19. There are various studies that imply being vaccinated will not only protects you but also additionally safeguards everyone around you. India has approved the Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik Light, Sputnik V, Corbevax and Covovax so far. Everyone is free to take any one of them as per the availability. It is important to be jabbed as soon as possible.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe for most people who are 18 years and older, including those individuals with pre-existing diseases like diabetes, asthma, hypertension, pulmonary, liver, and kidney diseases, as well as chronic infections that are stable. Whether it’s pregnancy or breastfeeding, getting vaccinated is important for all women and their families. As per operational guidelines released by the Government of India on 2 July 2021, any one of the three vaccines Covishield, Sputnik V and Covaxin can be given to these women. One should also get vaccinated if they are menstruating. If anyone is aged 60 and over, they are also eligible for vaccination.

There is evidence that children can be safely vaccinated against COVID-19. India’s drug regulator has also approved the emergency use of two COVID-19 vaccines, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin (cleared for use in children aged 6-12 years.) and Biological E’s Corbevax (cleared for use in children aged 5-12 years). Vaccine trials for the use of other COVID-19 vaccines in children and teenagers are ongoing and WHO will update its recommendations when the proof or epidemiological situation justifies a change in policy. Children and teenagers over five years old with comorbidities that put them at higher risk of COVID-19 may be offered vaccines alongside other high-priority groups.

Sputnik V, the world’s first COVID vaccine with demonstrated viability for people living with HIV as exhibited by a joint report between the Gamaleya Center and Moscow City Center for AIDS Prevention and Control published in The Lancet. The adequacy of Sputnik V is 79 per cent against infection as confirmed by a retrospective cohort study breaking down information from more than 24,000 HIV+ patients on antiretroviral treatment (ART). The data presented are the first scientific results on the preventive efficacy of a COVID vaccine to shield against infection in people living with HIV (PLWH). Based on the data from more than 24,000 HIV-positive patients in Moscow on antiretroviral therapy (ART), Sputnik V’s efficacy was 79 per cent. The vaccine’s viability against hospitalisation was over 90 per cent. Sputnik V is also more than 97 per cent effective against the development of moderate or severe disease among PLWH.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, as we can see many new variants appearing, and the after-effects of COVID-19. COVID-19 is also harmful to those individuals with pre-existing diseases. Vaccination is a worldwide accepted strategy to encounter the COVID-19 as soon as possible with the vaccines approved by their public health authorities.

The author is a public health expert. Views are personal.

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