Phase 3 vaccinations: On day one, 1,867 get the jab in Chandigarh

In a significant step to exponentially expand the vaccination drive, the Health Department, Chandigarh has strengthened the drive in all Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs) at 25 government facilities and 19 private hospitals.

THE Covid -19 vaccination drive was expanded to include every citizen who is of 45 years of age or more, across the nation on Thursday. On the first day of the new phase, approximately 1,867 people above 45 years of age were vaccinated in Chandigarh.

In a significant step to exponentially expand the vaccination drive, the Health Department, Chandigarh has strengthened the drive in all Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs) at 25 government facilities and 19 private hospitals.

Seeing the positive response of the public, the UT Health Department has decided to operationalise both government and private sector CVCs on Good Friday too, and has appealed to all citizens above the age of 45 years to get vaccinated and make Chandigarh Covid-free.

Quick Facts About Vaccination

Dr Parvinder Chawla, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital Mohali

Three facts related to vaccination are important. First, minor local side effects happen in many but not in all vaccine recipients.

Secondly, severe (anaphylactic) reactions are rare, and occur at a frequency of one in a million with most vaccines. Third, some recipients can develop what we medically call ‘sympathetic overactivity’ resulting in an increase in heart rate. This can also result from anxiety and can be problematic in those with underlying compromised heart function.

Therefore, not everyone will need paracetamol to counter these. It should be taken if one develops fever, body aches or local pain following the vaccination. These side effects usually settle in within days following the vaccination.

These symptoms persisting beyond two days should trigger the need for medical evaluation and preferably testing for Covid too in the present context. It is important to emphasise that the vaccine does not cause Covid but the recipient could have been in the incubation phase of infection at the time of receiving the vaccine.

Additionally, there is no valid reason to insist on being ‘empty stomach’ for the vaccination. The vaccine can be taken any time of the day irrespective of meals. The only valid reason to suggest avoiding a heavy meal before receiving the vaccine is the rare chance of anaphylaxis.

Rest after vaccination will help to decrease the impact of post-vaccination ‘sympathetic overactivity’ that may happen in some patients, especially the elderly and those with compromised heart function.

Workings of a Vaccine

Dr Sanjeev Bagai, Padmashree & Dr B C Roy Presidential Awardee

Vaccines are agents which induce immunity by producing antibodies in the body. On exposure to an antigen, an outside protein or virus or bacteria, the body hosts an immune response with your battery of antibodies.

The immunity is developed over a period of days, weeks or even months. Different levels of vaccines are given at different time frames to induce different levels of immunity. Some vaccines require booster dosages, some are given annually and some are given as a single shot which provides protection for life.

A natural infection gives an antibody protection for maximum up to three months and T- cells up to eight months, but that’s poor immunity for long term. Vaccines provide more robust, long-lasting and accurate immunity. After vaccine administration, one continues to build antibodies for many months, maybe even up to a year.

If you take dose one, on day one, you will get the dose two, which is on, day 28 or day 30. You have neutralizing antibodies built from day 13 in the timeline, which start building up to day 45. You’re reasonably well protected in the body after 45 days of the first dose that means, 15 days after the second dose. Your T cells, which are also extremely important, start building around 30 to 35 days after the first dose that means five to 10 days after the second dose. Both are important.

Now if you come in contact with someone who is Covid positive, in spite of the first shot or the second shot, but within the first 45 days of the first vaccine, you’re still liable. But having said that, the vaccine is still good because it will decrease the transmobility of the virus. It will make the disease, if at all you get infected, much weaker, milder.

257 new cases, one death

On Thursday, Chandigarh reported 257 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total tally to 27,256. One person also succumbed to the infection, taking the total number of fatalities to 380. The active cases stood at 2,951 while 223 people were also discharged upon recovery. While cases were reported from all sectors, Manimajra reported 19 cases, with Sector 15 registering 17 new cases and Sector 45 reporting 12 cases.

A 55-year-old Covid positive woman, a resident of Sarangpur, a case of diabetes mellitus, hypertension and chronic kidney disease, expired at GMCH 32.

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