As on 19th January, more than 4.5 lakh people have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in India. Unsurprisingly, a few cases of adverse reactions and side effects have also come to light. Currently, the percentage of adverse events and hospitalization cases following immunization stand at 0.18% and 0.002%, respectively. Although this percentage is very small, it is still important to spread awareness about who should get the COVID-19 vaccine and who should not.
Who can receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
The following groups of people are medically eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine:
- People aged 18 and above
- People with a past history of SARS-CoV-2 infection (seropositivity) and/or RT-PCR positive illness (but healthy now)
- People with a history of chronic diseases and morbidities (cardiac, neurological, pulmonary, renal, malignancies and metabolic conditions like diabetes).
Who should delay getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
The following groups of people should delay getting the COVID-19 vaccine by 4-8 weeks after recovery:
- People who have active symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 infection
- People who have been given anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies and convalescent plasma
- Acutely unwell and hospitalized (with or without intensive care) patients with any illness.
Who should avoid getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
The following groups of people should avoid getting the COVID-19 vaccine:
- People with fever
- Lactating mothers
- Pregnant/suspected pregnant women
- People with bleeding disorders and those taking blood thinners
- People who have an allergic reaction to the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
- People with a history of an allergic reaction to the vaccines, injectable therapies, therapeutic products, and food items
- People who are immunocompromised or are taking medicines that affect the immune system (this aspect could differ based on the specific vaccine being administered and the beneficiary is therefore encouraged to clarify at the vaccination site).
Over the coming days, India will likely vaccinate more people than any other country in the world. As a result, there will also be some cases of adverse reactions following immunization. To reduce the number of cases, it is important to create awareness amongst people about who should get vaccinated and who should delay or avoid vaccination. People who are unsure about their medical status should consult their physician before getting vaccinated.
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