It was the start of a new decade and the end of a previous one when the world got swirled up in ailing winds. The augment of fatal novel coronavirus has caused wreckage to many lives, causing untimely deaths and shattering dreams. An outbreak that has its origins from the province of China, coronavirus has since spread worldwide, enclosing us into a different life. We have been pushed into our homes where we never stayed. We have found happiness in the woods and glasses that adorn our curtains and floors. We are adopting practices that have been long forgotten as we started pacing in the world. Life before the breakout of the virus was always rushed. We were pacing to reach our offices, schools or we were draining ourselves after night-long parties.

Around the world, coronavirus has spread its brutal wings, taking away our loved ones and lives that were yet to see the glitters of this universe. The virus has common symptoms, which makes it tricky to diagnose. The symptoms range from mild to intense and can be a threat for those who are battling with severe underlying medical conditions such as heart or lung disease or diabetes. With the rampant growth of the virus, several tests emerged to identify the virus and treat them at the earliest. The highly accurate test is the RT-PCR test, which collects swabs from either nose or throat to detect the virus in labs. Another test is the Antigen test, which has similar procedures to the PCR test; however, it is quicker in giving the results, probably in an hour. The other prominent test is the Antibodies test, wherein your healthcare professional takes a sample of your blood to detect whether antibodies appear to the coronavirus or not. This test will not reveal active virus infection; instead, it will only indicate whether you are infected with the virus or not. 

With the tally of afflicted cases reaching beyond human expectations and the death toll rising with no places left to cremate the deceased bodies, scientists, doctors, and various medical institutions dwelt their efforts in bringing out possible vaccines to contain the spread of the virus. Different countries produced and tested their vaccines, which could slow down and ultimately curb the virus from infecting lives. India played a significant role in bringing out vaccines which have shown positive results in fighting against the virus. India had six vaccines that were being worked on and tested by the concerning authorities. India has two prominent vaccines, Covishied and Covaxin. In contrast, the rest are being produced by leading countries, including the United States of America and China and Russia. 

India began its vaccination drive from the beginning month of January 2021, approving two vaccines for use, Covishield and Covaxin. The vaccination drive is divided into three phases. The first phase included the availability of vaccines for healthcare workers and frontline workers, including police officers, sanitary workers, paramilitary forces and disaster management authorities. The second phase made the vaccines available for all the residents above 45 and those who have not received the vaccine in the first phase. The third phase had the vaccines available for all the residents above the age of 18. Yet, the vaccination drive is still struggling, with many states standing still at the second phase as the number of vaccines falls short. States like Maharashtra, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Odisha are not going to begin the third phase of vaccines due to falling short of its quantity. Several states have also asked the Centre for more doses of vaccines. With India receiving vaccines from other countries, the questions and cries of help loom over the Centre to ensure its availability. 

With the vaccines rolling out in different parts of India, myths and facts have jumbled up, causing people to go into a frenzy and develop their assumptions and conclusions. Common myths embedded in the vaccines range from adverse effects on human immunity and to no use of masks after getting vaccinated. People have also begun to accumulate the thought that vaccines are an end to the novel coronavirus. However, they need to step out from their shabby rooms of assumptions and know the facts. Here is a list of things to remember when you are getting your first and second vaccine doses. 

  • A person with bleeding disorders such as ‘haemophilia must take the vaccines under their physician’s supervision.
  • It would be best if you stayed at the vaccine centre for half an hour after getting the vaccine shot.
  • It is normal to experience mild fever and pain at the injection site and are shared for other vaccines. 
  • Following precautions for the virus is a must! Wear masks, sanitise and maintain social distance.
  • Please don’t skip the second dose for the vaccine and take it on time.
  • While getting the second dose, make sure to take no painkillers prior.
  • You can also contract the virus even after getting the vaccination shots as the effectiveness of the virus remains partially answered.
  • It will take a while for your immunity to get used to the doses of the vaccine.
  • Avoid taking other kinds of vaccines while taking Covid vaccines.
  • Make sure to get a hard copy of your vaccine completion certificate. There are charges for it at government hospitals, while private hospitals may charge fees accordingly. 

Doctors and reliable medical authorities have also put in the correct information related to the vaccines to make the people panic less and step forward to get vaccinated. Doctors have advised using oxygen concentrators, various breathing exercises, and humming to uplift the falling oxygen level at the initial stage. Lying and breathing in a prone position is also effective. Dr Naresh Tehran, Chairman of Medanta, also advised judicious use of oxygen. Not all patients might require it. There is no need to worry if the oxygen level is above 94 per cent. It is also important to contact a doctor to get the proper treatment if the oxygen level falls even after exercises. On the fever that comes after taking the vaccine, experts have stated that it is normal to experience fever after getting the vaccine shots, especially after the second dose. It indicates that the immune system is setting and getting stronger. However, if the fever worsens and does not go away after a few days, the person must consult a physician. 

While the vaccines have reported infections, most of them have been mild and treatable. Black Fungus seems to be prevalent among the patients who recover from Covid-19 but are still suffering from heart, lung diseases and diabetes. This infection has claimed some lives and has also left the patients at a loss of sight. Dr Ashish Bawedkar of KEM Hospital in Pune has said that while the vaccines prevent hospitalisation and severe and moderate disease, they do not protect from infection. Healthcare and frontline workers are more prone to these infections after taking the vaccines due to prolonged exposure to the virus as a part of their occupation. 

Though the solution against the fatal virus has reached our hands yet some queries are still on the brink of concrete answers and vague hopes and have to be resolved. The vaccines used have partly answered the request of masses for treatment and a counter-attack against the virus. Many rumours and false news are surfing on social media regarding the vaccines, revealing unrefined information. In such a time, when the virus is spreading like a forest fire into the corners of the nation, it is very important to verify the news that comes across regarding the vaccination programme in the nation. Those who wish to know more about the vaccine, its components, age criteria to get it and its possible side effects must consult from authentic sources, dealing exclusively with Covid vaccines. Remember, half knowledge is injurious to health!!

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