We were quite hopeful by the end of December last year that 2021 will witness the release of vaccines in the public and mass vaccinations will immune us against the virus. The ongoing vaccination drives in India consist of two doses with a leap of a specific period (4-8 weeks) between them. But amid the vaccination drives, we have seen a huge surge in the number of infected cases and deaths caused by the virus. Here the question arises, are COVID-19 vaccines enough to make us completely safe?
The exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 cases every day has proved to be a challenge against the race of vaccinating a population of over a billion. No one is safe from the virus until everybody is safe. This makes the need for vaccinating all higher than the rate of transmission to defeat the disease.
Another challenge is that the current vaccines that have been supplied in the market are made according to the original strain of the virus, but now the virus has started to mutate giving rise to new ‘variants of concern’ spreading at a vigorous rate all over the world. These new strains tend to cross the barrier of antibodies and immunity produced by the vaccine and infect us.
However, vaccination is extremely essential right now and not only for a particular age group, but everyone, from children to elders, needs to be vaccinated to avoid transmission. It is necessary to know that every vaccine has some side effects and if you are experiencing them, there is nothing wrong with the vaccine and it is normal. These side-effects include fever, nausea, chills, body pain, swelling and several allergic reactions which subside within a day or two. It is a sign of your body responding to the vaccine. But if in any case, the symptoms turn serious (which is quite rare), contact a health professional immediately.
Meanwhile, LPU recently organized a COVID-19 vaccination drive at the campus where around 150 doses were given to the members residing within the campus. The drive witnessed faculty members and staff actively participating in it and spreading awareness regarding the need for vaccination at this hour. The initiative taken by LPU to vaccinate people at its campus has set an example for other institutes to conduct such drives and contribute a little towards eradicating this disease.
Even if you have been vaccinated, the risk of catching infection remains. The virus can still attack you and infect you just the way it had earlier as seen in many cases. So, continuing to take precautions is a must as the cases have surpassed 2,00,000 per day.
Maintain the three rules of life- washing hands, wearing masks, and social distancing!