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Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines

Published on Mar 31, 2021 and last reviewed on May 30, 2021   -  6 min read


COVID-19 vaccines can be a real lifesaver. Read this to know the answers to the common questions and doubts on COVID-19 vaccines.

Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines

1. Which Vaccine Is Licensed for COVID-19 Worldwide?

There are two vaccines that have been granted permission for emergency usage in India. They are Covaxin and Covishield. These vaccines are authorized by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization. WHO has approved AstraZeneca-Oxford in two versions for emergency use. The other approved vaccines around the world are:

2. What Is Meant by Emergency Use Authorization?

The term emergency use authorization has a regulatory mechanism for the usage of medicines and vaccines. This mechanism helps in reducing or preventing the negative impact of symptoms that are caused by COVID-19. Several critical aspects like safety and security are evaluated in this emergency authorization.

3. Are Sufficient Trials Carried Out for the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Phase 1 and phase 2 trials are completed for COVID-19 vaccines in India. The Covishield vaccines have finished their phase 3 trials in India. On a worldwide basis, nearly 45 vaccines are tested for safety in phase 1 trials. The phase 2 trials are expanded for nearly 33 vaccines. The phase 3 trials are carried out on a large scale basis only for 23 vaccines. Four vaccines are known to be abandoned after the trials.

4. What Are the Various Clinical Trials That Are Required for a Vaccine?

There are three clinical trials required for a vaccine. The pre-clinical trials are carried out on laboratory animals. The first phase analyzes the safety of the vaccine and the immune response of an individual. The phase two trials also analyze the safety and capacity of an individual to produce an immune response. The third phase of the clinical trial will include many participants for determining the effectiveness of the vaccine against the particular disease.

5. Is COVID-19 Vaccine Provided to Children?

Generally, most vaccines are administered in childhood. As this vaccine is new, for now, it is recommended for people above 18 years of age. Children are not given the COVID-19 vaccine to avoid unforeseen complications and mortality. Recently, the United States of America has started clinical trials for checking the efficiency of its vaccines on children who are less than 12 years of age.

6. Is Vaccination Provided to Pregnant Women?

Vaccination is provided to pregnant women with great precaution. If a pregnant woman wishes to receive a vaccine, she holds the freedom to do so. In fact, studies have shown that women who received vaccination during pregnancy developed higher levels of antibodies against COVID-19 compared to those who were not pregnant. A special mention should be given to Moderna and Pfizer, as they are being administered to pregnant women, and it also enhances the immunity of both the mother and the baby.

7. Do COVID-19 Vaccines Require Cold Chain Temperature?

The vaccine Covishied and Covaxin require storage and transportation temperature of +2 to +8 degrees celsius. This is maintained with the help of active and passive cold chain equipment that are available in India. Vaccines like Pfizer should be maintained at an extremely cold temperature of -70 degrees celsius. This temperature is colder than the temperature of the winter season in Antarctica. The Moderna vaccine requires a cold chain temperature of -20 degrees celsius and has to be stored in the freezer.

8. Who Is Given a High Priority for Receiving the Vaccines?

Healthcare workers and front-line workers are at the highest risk of exposure from COVID-19. They are given high priority for COVID-19 vaccination. The family members of healthcare workers need to get the vaccination according to the standard protocol of the government.

9. Can I Choose the Type of Vaccine I Receive?

No, you cannot choose the type of vaccine you receive. The vaccination will be provided to different parts of the country according to the distribution plan and availability. The individuals are not allowed to choose their vaccines.

10. Is the Usage of a Face Mask Necessary Even After Receiving a Vaccination?

Yes, face masks are necessary even after receiving the vaccination. Only with the help of protective equipment, can one get protection from the risk of viruses. Vaccination can provide only additional support.

11. When Does Immunity Develop Against COVID-19?

For a proper immune response to be generated, it might take 28 days after vaccination with a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, the development of immunity might vary from one person to another.

12. Does Vaccination Provide Protection Against New Strains of COVID-19?

Approved COVID vaccines do provide protection against new strains of COVID-19.

13. Which Is Better Covishied or Covaxin?

Both vaccines do a fair job in providing protection against the COVID-19 infection. These vaccines provide a greater reduction in the death rate of infected older adults. It is not possible to compare the positive and negative factors of these two vaccines.

14. What Are the Contraindications of COVID-19 Vaccines?

Only people who are allergic to any ingredient of the COVID vaccines or those who developed severe allergy after the first short should refrain from getting vaccinated. These vaccines are safe and effective.

15. Which Drug Is Preferred for Reducing the Adverse Effect of COVID-19 Vaccines?

The commonly noted adverse effects are pain in the injected site, tiredness, and fever. All these symptoms can be reduced with the help of medications like Paracetamol.

16. Can I Consume Alcohol After Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine?

The ill effects of alcohol consumption and its interaction with the COVID-19 vaccine are not identified yet. However, it is not advisable to consume alcohol to prevent abnormal complications.

17. Can COVID-19 Vaccine Affect Female Fertility?

The effect of the COVID-19 vaccine on the fertility of women is a complete myth. There is no vaccine that can affect the fertility of women. Before the initiation of vaccines, proper trials are carried out by healthcare workers. So such a side effect is not true.

18. Can I Take the Vaccine if I Was Previously Infected With COVID-19?

People who were previously affected by COVID-19 did not show a complete development of immunity even after getting cured of the condition. Therefore, the vaccination is recommended for people who have recovered too. Such people can take the vaccine 4-8 weeks after recovery.

19. Can People With Chronic Diseases Receive the Vaccine?

Yes, people with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart conditions, renal problems, pulmonary conditions can receive this vaccine. Also, the vaccines reduce the mortality rate in these patients.

20. What Are the Immunity Issues Related to the Vaccine?

The two immunity issues related to the vaccine are immunosuppression and immunodeficiency. Immunosuppression is seen in HIV patients, whereas immunodeficiency is seen in people with congenital disorders.

21. Can I Take My Regular Medications After Receiving the Vaccines?

Yes, there are no restrictions to take your regular medications. Stopping other medications abruptly can cause other complications, and so it is not recommended.

22. Can Patients With Bleeding Disorders Take the Vaccines?

Patients with bleeding disorders should take the vaccines only under the supervision of a medical professional. If these patients were admitted to the hospital recently, then they are advised to delay the process of vaccination.

23. What Are the Precautions to Be Followed After Receiving the Vaccines?

There are no special precautions to be followed. If the receiver of the vaccine gets any abnormal side effects, they are advised to visit the doctor immediately.

24. Is Vaccination Permitted for Breastfeeding Mothers?

Many breastfeeding mothers who received COVID-19 vaccine were successful in developing antibodies for themselves and for their baby. Researchers from Harvard, Brigham, and women’s hospital show that breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women had a strong immune response when compared to those who were not pregnant or breastfeeding. In addition to this, the placenta and umbilical cord blood were examined, and identified that babies who were given birth by mothers who received vaccines showed an elevated level of immunity.

25. Is It Safe for Women To Get Vaccinated for COVID-19 During Menstruation (Periods)?

A rumor has been doing the rounds on social media platforms that women should not take COVID-19 vaccines five days before and after their period cycle. The explanation was given, saying that the immunity will be lower during this period. But health authorities have clarified, saying that COVID-19 has no relation with menstruation (periods). Doctors say that periods do not affect the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines neither the COVID-19 vaccines have an effect on menstruation (periods cycle). The vaccine will not lower the immunity, but will build your immunity and keep you safe during this horrible pandemic. So do not fall prey to these rumors. All women above the age of 18 years should get vaccinated for COVID-19, irrespective of where they are on their menstrual cycle, when it is their turn.

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Last reviewed at:
30 May 2021  -  6 min read


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