10 Precautions You Must Take Before Getting Your First COVID-19 Vaccine

As the Coronavirus vaccine registrations for all above 18 years of age begin, check out some precautions you need to take before you get jabbed!

As the country continues to battle the havoc being wreaked by the Coronavirus pandemic, the vaccine seems to be the only glimmer of hope for many. While the registration for COVID-19 vaccination for all above 18 years of age is underway on the Co-WIN portal and Aarogya Setu app, there are a few things you must keep in mind. 

For starters, do not ignore social distancing and masking when you go for your jab. 

"As soon as India kick-started the vaccination drive for those over 60 years and within the age bracket of 45 to 59 years with specified co-morbidities, we saw huge crowds thronging the vaccination centres! There were videos that showed how social distancing norms were flouted at the vaccination centres and the chaos that ensued. Having said that, the civic bodies and private healthcare providers are adding to the strength and infrastructure for the successful implementation of the vaccination drive. It is time for people to be more responsible when they walk in for their COVID-19 vaccination," says Dr Kirti Sabnis, Infectious Disease Specialist, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan and Mulund.

Here are her suggestions: 

    Check the Arogya Setu app or the COWIN website to identify the nearest vaccination centre and register. 

    For those in the 45-59yrs bracket, carry your physician’s prescription to the vaccination centre.

    Talk to your doctor about any possible interactions or allergies in advance.

    In correspondence to communication about the date and time of your vaccination, reach the vaccination centre. 

    Follow the instructions set out by the vaccination centre.

    Maintain 6 feet distance while standing/ sitting as you await your turn.

    Avoid crowding, and cooperate with the authorities; their instructions will help you have a smooth vaccination experience. 

    Always wear your mask, and carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser with you.

    Minor allergies are not contraindications for vaccination. If you have allergies please confirm with your doctor prior to visiting the vaccination centre.

ONCE YOU RECEIVE YOUR FIRST SHOT SELF-CARE BECOMES CRUCIAL:

    Vaccinated people should continue to wear masks, avoid meeting in large groups and indoor gatherings.

    Travelling to places where there’s no way to know if the people around you have been vaccinated, will remain risky

    After vaccination, you might experience common side effects such as pain, light fever, tiredness, etc., so drink plenty of fluids, apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the injection site 

Also read: Does Double Masking Mean Double Protection Against Covid-19?

    Speak to your physician immediately, if you experience discomfort after taking the vaccine; upon their recommendation, you may take appropriate medication to tackle the discomfort

    Eat nutritious food to improve your immunity

    Ensure to get good sleep and avoid alcohol, smoking etc.

There is a gap of 28 days between the first and the second jab. Be vigilant during this time, avoid places of exposure. It is important to take care of yourself and your family. Nutrition also plays a major role in vaccine efficacy, therefore;

    Avoid food that may cause an inflammatory immune response i.e. allergic reaction from eating seafood, peanuts, and other such food items etc.

    Avoid under and over nutrition 

    Speak to your doctor at regular intervals if required

Dr Sabnis also adds that getting vaccinated does mean the end of a pandemic. She says, "Continue following the social distancing norms and maintain all recommended precautions. Getting vaccinated is the best step towards fighting the pandemic, don’t have two thoughts about it; take it yourself and ensure that your family, friends, co-workers etc. are vaccinated too."