How does COVID-19 Vaccine work?
COVID-19 Vaccine Administration and Dosage
COVID-19 Vaccine Safety and Efficacy and Effectiveness
COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects
COVID-19 Vaccine and Vulnerable Population
COVID-19 Vaccine, Medication and Blood Parameters
COVID-19 Vaccine Myths Busters and Misinformation
COVID-19 Vaccine and Travel
Post COVID-19 Vaccination
All citizens aged 18 years and above are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in India.
Source: COWIN App FAQ
A. Persons with history of:
- Anaphylactic or allergic reaction to a previous dose of COVID-19 vaccine
- Immediate or delayed-onset anaphylaxis or allergic reaction to vaccines or injectable therapies, pharmaceutical products, food-items etc.
B. Pregnant women: Regarding COVID-19 Vaccination of pregnant women, the matter is under discussion in India. Pregnant women have not been part of any COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial so far. Therefore, women who are pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy; should not receive COVID-19 vaccine at this time
C. Provisional / temporary contraindications: In these conditions, COVID-19 vaccination is to be deferred after recovery
- Individuals having lab test proven SARS-2 COVID-19 infection: COVID-19 vaccine to be deferred by 3 months after recovery.
- SARS-2 COVID-19 patients who have been given anti-SARS-2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma: COVID-19 vaccine to be deferred by 3 months from the date of discharge from the hospital.
- Individuals who have received at least the 1 st dose and got COVID-19 infection before completion of the dosing schedule: the 2 nd dose should defer the COVID-19 vaccine by 3 months after clinical recovery from COVID-19 illness.
- Persons with any other serious general illness requiring hospitalization or ICU care should also wait for 4-8 weeks before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
D. Other health Conditions :
- Individuals with bleeding disorders like ‘haemophilia’ should take the vaccine under the supervision of their treating physician.
- Individuals with heart and brain disorders are on blood thinners like aspirin and antiplatelet drugs can continue with their medicines and have the vaccines. They should also consult their physician. For them, vaccines are absolutely safe.
- One should inform the vaccinator about the medicines they consume and if they are suffering from any known immune issues. The vaccinator should have a record of one’s medical condition.
Vaccination Centres provide for a limited number of on-spot registration slots every day. Citizens aged 45 years and above can schedule appointments online or walk-in to vaccination centres. However, Citizens aged 18-44 years should mandatorily register themselves and schedule appointments online before going to the vaccination centre for a hassle-free vaccination experience.
Source: COWIN App FAQ
You should carry your identity proof specified by you at the time of registration on the Co-WIN portal and a printout/screenshot of your appointment slip.
Source: COWIN App FAQ
Vaccination for COVID-19 is voluntary. However, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of COVID-19 vaccine for protecting one-self against COVID-19 infection. The COVID-19 vaccine will also limit the spread of the infection to close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers.
No, you will not get penalized if you don’t take COVID-19 vaccine. However, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of COVID-19 vaccine for protecting one-self against this disease and also to limit the spread of this disease to close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers.
At the time of scheduling an appointment on COWIN app, the app will show the name of vaccine being administered at each vaccination centre. Citizens can choose the vaccination centre as per their choice of vaccine being administered. However, the choice will not be available at the Government facilities. As of now, centres have “Covishield”/ “Covaxin” available. Both work fine in preventing the infection as well as prevents an individual from severe illness due to COVID-19 infection.
Source: COWIN App FAQ
Currently door to door service for vaccination is not available. Vaccines are available at Government and Private Health Facilities as notified, known as COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs).
Citizens aged 45 years and above can schedule appointments online or walk-in to vaccination centres. However, Citizens aged 18-44 years should mandatorily register themselves and schedule appointment online before going to vaccination centre.
Source: COWIN App FAQ
- For citizens aged 45 years and above the vaccination is free at Government hospitals and charged at INR 250 in Private hospitals.
- For people between 18 to 44 years the States will announce the policy relating to payment. Vaccination will be priced by private facilities and you can see the price of each vaccine below the name of the vaccination centre at the time of scheduling an appointment.
Source: COWIN App FAQ
We request you to wait at the vaccination centre for at least half an hour after taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Inform the nearest health authorities / ANM / ASHA in case you feel any discomfort or uneasiness subsequently. Remember to continue following key COVID Appropriate Behaviours like wearing of mask, maintaining hand sanitization and physical distance (or 6 feet or Do Gaj).
Source: MyGov, India
Two vaccines have been approved for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) by the National Regulator i.e. Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). These are “Covishield” manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) and “Covaxin” manufactured by Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL). Several other vaccines are at various stages of clinical development within the country. The National Regulator grants Permission for Restricted Use in Emergency Situations to Sputnik-V vaccine.
Vaccines can prevent infectious diseases. Vaccines do prevent measles, polio, hepatitis B, influenza and many others. When most people in a community are protected by vaccination, the ability of the pathogen to spread is limited. This is called ‘herd’ or ‘indirect’ or ‘population’ immunity. When many people have immunity, this also indirectly protects people who cannot be vaccinated, such as those who have compromised immune systems.
- A vaccine is basically a training session for the immune system. Vaccines teach the immune system to look for the key features of a virus. So, when a virus does show up, it’s ready to fight it off.
- The vaccine gives your body a plan to recognize the virus. Then your immune system starts preparing by making antibodies, or fighter cells, that stay in your blood as protection in case the virus tries to invade. What this means is you get immunity against the disease, without having to get sick first.
- When enough people’s bodies know how to fight off a virus it has nowhere to go. That slows the spread. When people get a vaccine, we’re able to stop the spread quicker……and get a little closer to ending this pandemic.
Adequate immune response takes 2-3 weeks after completion of entire vaccination schedule i.e., after the second dose of COVISHIELD® and COVAXIN®.
- Covishield® vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, is a Viral Vector based Technology which is also used to manufacture Ebola vaccine.Composition of Covishield includes inactivated adenovirus with segments of Corona Virus, Aluminium Hydroxide Gel, L-Histidine, L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, Polysorbate 80, Ethanol, Sucrose, Sodium chloride, and Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA).
- Covaxin® vaccine, manufactured by the Bharat Biotech, is a whole-Virion Inactivated Corona Virus Vaccine which is also used to manufacture vaccines like Influenza, Rabies and HepatitisA. Composition of Covaxin includes inactivated Corona Virus, Aluminum Hydroxide Gel, TLR 7/8 agonist, 2-Phenoxyethanol and Phosphate Buffered Saline[NKA1].
Which one is better: There is no head-to-head comparison done between the two vaccines being used in India so one cannot choose one over the another. Both would work fine in preventing the infection as well as prevent a person from going into severe state of the disease. As a long-term effect, it would be preventing death for elderly people or those who have co-morbidities.
There are many different COVID-19 vaccines in development using different technologies because it is not yet known which ones will be effective and safe. Based on experience, roughly 7% of vaccines in preclinical studies succeed. Candidates that reach clinical trials have about a 20% chance of succeeding. Different vaccine types may be needed for different population groups. For example, some vaccines may work in older persons and some may not, as the immune system weakens with older age. Several vaccines are needed to allow countries with as much vaccine as possible to increase the supply. Not everyone will be able to be vaccinated right away because of limited supply. It is important that the initial supplies of vaccine are given to people in a fair, ethical, and transparent way.
Source: COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs for Healthcare Professionals cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/hcp/faq.html#schedule cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/admin/downloads/IM-Injection-adult.pdf cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/admin/downloads/IM-Injection-children.pdf
If the deltoid muscle cannot be used or accessed, the vastus lateralis muscle of the anterolateral thigh can be used. cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/hcp/faq.html#schedule
Source: CDC Factsheet
For COVISHIELD the recommended interval is 12-16 weeks to give an enhanced protection. You may choose the date of 2nd dose vaccination as per your convenience.
Additionally, if you are experiencing any symptoms you should immediately get yourself tested.
Source: Cowin App FAQ
Source: Cowin App FAQ
You can call on the national helpline ‘1075’ for information and guidance on COVID-19 vaccination and Co-WIN software related queries.
Source: mohfw.gov.in/covid_vaccination/vaccination/faqs.html Source: Cowin App FAQ
Source: CDC Factsheet
Source: Cowin App FAQ
Source: Cowin App FAQ
- Covishield®: Some mild symptoms may occur like injection site tenderness, injection site pain, headache, fatigue, myalgia, malaise, pyrexia, chills and arthralgia, nausea. Very rare events of demyelinating disorders have been reported following vaccination with this vaccine but without the causal relationship establishment.
- Covaxin®: Some mild symptoms AEFIs may occur like injection site pain, headache, fatigue, fever, body ache, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, dizziness-giddiness, tremor, sweating, cold, cough and injection site swelling. No other vaccine-related serious adverse effects have been reported.
Even if the individual has any comorbidity , he might only experience general side effects. Side effects are not more pronounced in people who are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease—i.e. people who are older, have comorbidities, etc.
About 10 percent of vaccinated individuals will experience side effects similar to flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, headaches, body aches, muscle pain and fatigue. We do not anticipate that these symptoms will last long. If you experience chills, headaches, body aches, muscle pain, joint pain or fatigue within 48 hours after receiving the vaccine, these would likely be post-vaccination symptoms rather than symptoms of COVID-19 infection. Those who experience any of these symptoms and feel well enough to come to work may return to work. Usually 24 to 48 hours, and no more than a few days. If you experience any respiratory symptoms, such as cough, shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea, these are more likely to be COVID-19-related symptoms and very unlikely due to vaccination. You should immediately isolate, and schedule COVID-19 testing.
Overall, the vaccine is safe and efficacious in adults with comorbidity. The maximum benefit of getting the COVID vaccine is for those who have such co-morbidities. However, if you are concerned for any specific reason, please consult your doctor.
People with mild cold-like symptoms are not prevented from getting the vaccine. However, if they are not feeling well, their symptoms just started, or their symptoms are getting worse, they may want to delay vaccination until they feel better; otherwise, they might not be able to tell the effects of illness from those of the vaccine. If they are uncertain, they should speak to their doctor, who has the benefit of their medical history and will be in the best position to help them weigh the potential pros and cons.
- If you had a severe allergic reaction—also known as anaphylaxis—after getting the first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, CDC recommends that you not get a second shot of that vaccine. An allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen© or if they must go to the hospital.
- You should not get the Covishield vaccine if you: a) Had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine b) Had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine
- The COVISHIELD™ Vaccine includes the following ingredients: L-Histidine, L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, Polysorbate 80, Ethanol, Sucrose, Sodium chloride, Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA), Water for injection
- You should not get COVAXIN if you: Had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredients of the vaccine. Had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine.
- COVAXIN includes the following ingredients: COVAXIN contains 6µg of whole-virion inactivated SARSCoV-2 antigen (Strain: NIV-2020-770), and the other inactive ingredients such as aluminum hydroxide gel (250 µg), TLR 7/8 agonist (imidazoquinolinone) 15 µg, 2-phenoxyethanol 2.5 mg, and phosphate ® buffer saline up to 0.5 ml. The vaccine (COVAXIN ) thus has been developed by using inactivated/killed viruses along with the aforementioned chemicals.
- Additionally, individuals with a history of anaphylactic or allergic reaction to a previous dose of COVID-19 vaccine or immediate or delayed-onset anaphylaxis or allergic reaction to vaccines or injectable therapies, pharmaceutical products, food-items should avoid taking the vaccine and consult the doctor.
- Immunosuppression due to any disease such as AIDS, and people on immunosuppressant drugs such as anti-cancer drugs, steroids, etc.
- Immunodeficiency in people who suffers from some defect in the body’s protective system such as congenital immunodeficiency.Currently, available COVID-19 vaccines do not have any live virus and therefore individuals with immune issues can have the vaccine safely. But the vaccine may not be as effective in them. One should inform the vaccinator about the medicines they consume and if they are suffering from any known immune issues. The vaccinator should have a record of one’s medical condition.
Currently, in India individuals above the age of 18 years will be given COVID-19 vaccine.
- Always maintain a physical distance and stay home as much as possible, unless going for medical treatment or urgent supplies.
- Wear masks when you are outside, and make sure the face mask is covering your nose. Children above two years of age can also wear a mask.
- Continually wash hands with soap, or use a 70 per cent sanitizer, making sure the whole surface of the hands is covered.
- Get vaccinated – everyone above 18 years of age is eligible.
- Avoid attending public functions, avoid social gatherings, and avoid group play
- Discuss, demonstrate, and reiterate the importance of COVID-19 Appropriate Behavior (CAB) with your children.
COVID-19 affects all age groups; however, morbidity & mortality is several times higher in adults particularly in those above the age of 50 years. Children have either asymptomatic or mild infection. The general practice is to first evaluate any new vaccine in the older population and then age reduction is done to assess the safety and effectiveness in the paediatric population. The currently available vaccines have not been evaluated in children so far. There are some clinical trials now underway to test the effectiveness and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in children.
If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines. Like all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects now and will continue to study them for many years.
For most people, it is not recommended to avoid, discontinue, or delay medications for underlying medical conditions around the time of COVID-19 vaccination. However, your healthcare provider should talk to you about what is currently known and not known about the effectiveness of getting a COVID-19 vaccine when taking medications that suppress the immune system. It is not recommended you take over-the-counter medicine – such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen – before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent vaccine-related side effects. It is not known how these medications might affect how well the vaccine works. However, if you take these medications regularly for other reasons, you should keep taking them before you get vaccinated. It is also not recommended to take antihistamines before getting a COVID-19 vaccine to try to prevent allergic reactions. If you have questions about medications that you are taking, talk to your doctor or your vaccination provider.
- The immune system is not sufficiently compromised by either the COVID-19 vaccine or the menstrual cycle that scheduling them around one another would be of benefit. Indeed, delaying vaccination around a woman’s cycle may only leave her unprotected from COVID-19 for a longer time without offering any known benefit.
- The mRNA and adenovirus vaccines are processed in immune system cells near the injection site and then those cells travel through the lymph system to nearby lymph nodes, where additional cells of the immune system are activated. As such, the vaccines would not be expected to affect the menstrual cycle. If a woman experiences a delayed cycle following vaccination, one possible explanation could be hormonal changes caused by stress, which in turn can affect a woman’s cycle. However, women with concerns should speak with their doctor since cycles can be delayed for other reasons as well.
- The COVID-19 vaccine is not shed after vaccination, so being around recently vaccinated individuals would not be expected to affect someone’s cycle.
No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and a viral vector vaccine. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the genetic material in the vaccines cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. All COVID-19 vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.
Source: CDC Vaccine Facts
No, the vaccine does not cause COVID-19. None of the approved COVID-19 vaccines contain the virus that causes COVID-19. It does take a few weeks after vaccination for your body to build up antibodies to protect you from the virus. That means it’s possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after getting the vaccine and still get sick. If your body develops an immune response to vaccination, which is the goal, you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
Source: CDC Factsheet
While several COVID-19 vaccines appear to have high levels of efficacy, no vaccine is 100% protective. As a result, there may be a small percentage of people who do not develop protection as expected after COVID-19 vaccination.In addition to a vaccine’s specific characteristics, several factors such as a person’s age, their underlying health conditions or previous exposure to COVID-19 may have an impact on a vaccine’s effectiveness. We also do not yet know how long immunity from different COVID-19 vaccines will last. That is one reason why, even as COVID-19 vaccines start to be rolled out, we must continue using all public health measures that work, such as physical distancing, masks, and handwashing.
No, vaccines do not contain live virus. The current technology used that is the mRNA vaccines use a new approach by which mRNA is delivered into our cells to provide the genetic instructions for our own cells to “temporarily” make a “specific” viral protein (the coronavirus spike protein) that triggers an immune response. This mRNA is the main ingredient of the vaccine responsible for causing an immune response.Also known as messenger ribonucleic acid, mRNA is the only active ingredient in the vaccine. The mRNA molecules contain the genetic material that provide instructions for our body on how to make a viral protein that triggers an immune response within our bodies. The immune response is what causes our bodies to make the antibodies needed to protect us from getting infected if exposed to the coronavirus.
Therefore, there is no truth to the myth that somehow the mRNA vaccine could inactivate the genes that suppress tumors.
Rumours or social media posts suggesting that COVID-19 vaccines could cause infertility are not true and totally baseless. Such rumours were floated in the past against other vaccines also e.g. polio and measles. None of the available vaccines affects fertility. All vaccines and their constituents are tested first on animals and later in humans to assess if they have any such side effects. Vaccines are authorized for use only after their safety and efficacy is assured.
No, It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
No, it is not true. The vaccine does not affect our immune system adversely. COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
Not True. In every vaccine trial, every effect needs to be noted, including all adverse events. The root cause analysis of every side-effect is examined in detail. Pausing a trial and restarting are safety mechanisms to protect the trial volunteers until each adverse effect is investigated and addressed. If the board or the company judges the adverse event to be particularly concerning, they may put the trial on pause — even without yet knowing if the event happened to someone who got the treatment or the placebo. Once a trial is paused, a safety board may ask for a volunteer who experienced an adverse event to be “unblinded”. If the volunteer received a placebo, then the treatment can’t be the cause of the event and the trial can continue.
If it turns out that the volunteer got the treatment, the board does a flurry of detective work. The members look over the medical records. They may ask for more information about volunteers’ health or even order new tests — not just for the people who experienced adverse events, but for everyone in the trial.
Source: CDC Factsheet