It has been a daunting journey for over fourteen months where many have lost their family and friends due to the pandemic. Going through the COVID-19 journey has been a rancorous experience to many, especially during the second wave. Now, there’s hope for survival with the coming of the COVID vaccine.
How Does Vaccination Help?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), vaccination is a simple, safe and effective way of protecting people against harmful diseases, before they come into contact with them. It uses our body’s natural defenses to build resistance to specific infections and makes our immune system stronger. So basically, vaccines do the same action as when we are exposed and are infected with the disease causing organism. But here, the symptoms may be very mild as they will be injecting the weakened version of disease causing organism or a part of the same organism, so our immune system gets trained on how to respond if the actual disease causing organism invades us.
Whenever our body is infected with any of these microorganisms, our body fights against it. Our immune system remembers the specific virus or bacteria by producing its antibodies so that we can fight against it without getting symptoms for the next time when we are exposed to same type of virus or bacteria. But some of these antibodies may not last long enough to protect us from getting infected again in the future. Though a lot of research has been conducted on COVID-19, as far as we know, the antibodies of COVID-19 in our body may not last long. So, getting a vaccine is recommended, regardless of whether you were infected with COVID-19 or not.
Can You Get The COVID Vaccine If You Were Infected?
As the COVID vaccines have rolled out, people who were not infected are getting them but people who have already been infected might have questions related to the COVID vaccine such as – Can I get the vaccine? If yes, how long do I need to wait to get the vaccine after being infected with COVID-19? How long will I not get infected again if I don’t take the vaccine? Let’s look at the official recommendations.
As per the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) in India, based on the current situation of the pandemic, guidelines have been given on how long you need to defer the COVID-19 vaccine after getting infected with it.
- Someone who had tested positive for COVID-19 should wait for 3 months to get their COVID Vaccine after recovery.
- If you have received the 1st dose of the COVID Vaccine and then got infected before completing the 2nd dose of vaccination, you also need to wait for 3 months to get your 2nd dose after recovering from the infection.
- People who got infected with the virus and were treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma need to defer getting vaccinated for 3 months after getting discharged from the hospital.
These guidelines are accepted by the Ministry Of Health and Family Affairs, India. Please note that the earlier recommendation to get the vaccine post COVID-19 infection was just four weeks before. So, the above recommendations are the latest updates recommended by NEGVAC, accepted by the Ministry of Health in India, which applies to all States and Union Territories. However, if you, or anyone in your family or friends who had COVID-19 positive with severe complications and comorbidities, or have undergone any major surgeries during this period or after the 1st dose of the vaccine, it is advised to talk to the doctor who treated you before taking the COVID Vaccine, keeping your safety in mind.
After getting the vaccine, remember not to stop the protocols of wearing a clean mask, sanitizing and washing the hands often, social distancing, avoiding crowded places, having healthy food, regular exercise, good quality sleep and managing stress. Don’t forget, just getting a vaccine cannot guarantee that we will not get infected in the future. All these precautions can save us from being the victims of the next wave.
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