While India struggles with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel. If you are 18 or older, you are eligible to get vaccinated. During times like these, getting the jab is an important step in beating the virus and achieving herd immunity. So first things first, log on to cowin.gov.in, register yourself to get vaccinated and book a slot.
Okay, now that you’re ready to take the shot, it’s time to educate yourself about the entire process. While the vaccines are safe, it is important to keep yourself informed. So, we’ve broken down exactly what you should be doing before, during and after getting the jab. Read on to know more!
Before you get the vaccine, here’s a list of things you should do
Before you get the shot, read up about the vaccine you’re about to get. How does it work? What are the side effects? Will it react badly to any of your current illnesses? You should have the answers to all these questions before you get vaccinated. Additionally, if you have any serious concerns about the vaccines, online research will not be enough—talk to a healthcare professional if you must.
If you cannot physically visit a doctor, try doing an online consultation or talking to them over the phone. Explain your medical history to them, and let them assess whether you are fit to get the jab. If you have any co-morbidities or severe allergies, your doctor may prescribe medication, or advise you against getting the vaccine. They may also provide you with a medical certificate stating that you are fit to get vaccinated. Although it is not a requirement, it is always better to be on the safe side and make sure you are healthy enough to get the jab.
Make sure you are in the pink of your health before you get the vaccine. To do this, you need to ensure you eat healthy food and exercise a few days leading up to the date of the shot. Before you leave to get vaccinated, make sure you have had a good night’s rest, eaten a healthy meal and drank lots of water.
Here’s what to keep in mind during your vaccination appointment.
Remember to make sure you are safe and protected when you step inside the vaccination room. This means double masking, wearing a face shield (if you can), and sanitising yourself and your surroundings.
Make sure you tell the healthcare worker about your medical history, and show them your medical certificate if you are carrying one. Ask them about side effects, and what you can do in case you have a severe reaction. Also, check with them about what kind of medications you can take and which ones to avoid after the vaccination.
Right after you get vaccinated, your healthcare worker will tell you wait for a period of 15-30 minutes before you head home. This is to observe you for any adverse reactions or side effects, and to get you immediate help should you need it. So don’t rush home as soon as you get the jab—listen to your healthcare worker and wait for your observation period to get over.
Congratulations, you have now got your first vaccine! However, there are some things you need to keep in mind after you’ve got your first shot.
Most people will get certain side effects from the vaccine. This is completely normal and there is no need to panic. You can expect arm soreness, fatigue, headaches, body ache, mild fever or diarrhea. So prepare yourself by keeping medications at hand, eating a healthy meal and giving yourself ample time to rest and recover.
Remember, getting your first vaccine does not mean you are safe from COVID-19. You need to schedule your next shot four to eight weeks after getting your first jab, depending on the vaccine you got. So mark your next date in your calendar and schedule your next appointment in the appropriate time period.
Your body does not build immunity overnight against COVID-19. For most vaccines, you need to wait at least three-to-four weeks after your second shot before you can consider yourself ‘fully vaccinated’. And even after you are fully vaccinated there is still a chance of contracting COVID. It is a new disease, and we are learning about new complications every day. So don’t consider yourself to be invincible after getting your shot.
Remember to stay safe, continue to take all safety precautions and maintain social distancing.
Featured Image: Pexels