COVID – 19 Vaccination FAQ’S

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The Good News we have been waiting for, is finally here! The Covid-19 vaccine will soon be available across all Apollo facilities.

India’s largest private hospital, Apollo, is stepping up gears to administer 1 million plus vaccines a day, in an effort to combat a contagious virus that has affected over millions of people globally.

Multiple pharma companies have been working round the clock, and are now in Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials before they are ready to enter the market.

As an organization committed to healthcare for over 37 years, Apollo has been actively collaborating with some of the most renowned research labs for this purpose. 

This is the most optimistic news in recent times, especially for the vulnerable, the elderly and the very young. 

India, we’re ready for you.

With a robust, pan-India web of 19 medicine supply hubs with cold chain facilities and 70 hospitals, 400+ clinics, 500 corporate health centres, 4,000 pharmacies, the Apollo group is actually in one of the best positions to ensure massive administration capacity of COVID-19 vaccines.

The approved vaccine will be available across all these Apollo facilities. Initially, frontline workers and high risk groups will be on priority.

How soon can we expect the Vaccine?  

The Government of India and concerned authorities will soon announce the final dates.  

What do vaccines do?

Vaccines help build antibodies in our system, thus strengthening our immunity. Once vaccinated, even if a person comes in contact with a positive case, they stay protected. 

Several pharmaceutical companies and research labs, in India and abroad, have collectively come to the conclusion that the fastest and most effective way to combat this particular virus, is a vaccine. 

Is a coronavirus vaccine necessary?

SARS-CoV-2 infections can be a minor hindrance or lead to severe disease or even death. While hygiene measures such as social distancing, handwashing, and wearing masks offer some help, the best way to stop this virus is to generate SARS-CoV-2-specific immunity. This specific immunity can be achieved in one of two ways — through illness or vaccination. Since illness could lead to severe disease or death, vaccination is a better alternative as long as safe and effective vaccines are developed.

How long will vaccine immunity last?

The current data indicates that the vaccine will offer protection for upto a year. However, the clear guidance has yet to be released by the government.

If children are already receiving other vaccines, why is this one important?

‘Prevention is better than cure’. It is an old adage, but stands true for so many things. Especially when it’s a matter of your child’s safety and good health, this is one mantra you need to stick to. The elderly and children have been more vulnerable to this particular virus, so it will be helpful if your child is protected.  

When it comes to vaccinations, there are always a lot of doubts in new parents, or expecting parents; which is natural. In case of any uncertainty, we urge you to consult your pediatrician before taking any further steps. 

We also urge you to simultaneously educate yourself through reliable sources like trusted healthcare sites.

What is the efficacy of this vaccine for children?

Depending on the individual constitution of the child, this vaccine will have mildly different impacts, and efficacy may range from 70 to 96% depending on multiple factors.

What will be the storage and shelf life for the COVID-19 vaccination?

The vaccine needs to be stored in a refrigerated facility, between temperatures 2-5 degree Celsius, which must be maintained at all times. It remains potent for one month.

What is the tentative cost of the COVID-19 vaccine in India?

Apollo will follow the Government of India’s directive on Coronavirus vaccine pricing, which will surely consider affordability for the masses. The authentic information will be intimated as soon we have more information.

How many doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will be needed? Will a booster dose be needed?

The coronavirus vaccines being prepared will have to be administered in two doses. When giving two doses, they are usually given about 3 to 4 weeks apart. The results of the ongoing clinical trials will provide more information about the same. 

How many days after a negative COVID-19 test can vaccines be administered to a child?

At the moment, there is no specific evidence of a potential impact of COVID-19 on vaccination response or vice versa. 

Systematic COVID-19 testing before routine vaccination is not currently required or recommended. 

What is the minimum age for children to be vaccinated? 

Any child with a negative COVID-19 test can be vaccinated, after a go-ahead from the pediatrician.

How should my family prepare for a COVID-19 vaccine?

Keep wearing masks, social distancing, practicing great hand hygiene, and self-quarantining at home if anyone in your family is sick, ensures that the rate of transfer is minimal. 

Until the vaccination process begins, and even after that, we request you – ‘Don’t Lower Your Guard’.

Why would a vaccine be needed, if we can do other things, like social distancing and wearing masks, to prevent the virus that causes covid-19 from spreading?

Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system, so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask and staying at least 6 feet away from others, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following WHO’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Is COVID-19 a contraindication for vaccination?

Mild symptoms such as fever and/or cough are not necessarily a contraindication for vaccination. In line with normal procedures, the health-care provider should make recommendations based on a risk–benefit assessment (severity of symptoms and risk and severity of Vaccine preventable diseases).

 If the pediatrician decides against vaccination on that day, the normal vaccination schedule for the child should be resumed as soon as possible after he or she recovers. It is important that anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 remains isolated, in line with government recommendations, to ensure that they do not infect others and contribute to further spread of the virus.

Does the BCG vaccine protect against COVID-19?

Two clinical trials are underway to look at whether the BCG vaccine could have a role in protecting health-care workers and other vulnerable individuals against severe COVID-19. 

However, so far there is no evidence that the BCG vaccine protects people against infection with the Novel Coronavirus. 

WHO therefore does not recommend BCG vaccination for the prevention of COVID-19. WHO continues to recommend neonatal BCG vaccination in countries or settings with a high incidence of tuberculosis. 

Do vaccinations affect a child’s natural immune system? Does having multiple shots on the same day (combination vaccines), or in a short period of time, make my child vulnerable to other infections?

No, vaccination with multiple shots on the same day, or as per national authority recommended intervals does not make your child vulnerable to other infections. 

Although vaccines are among the safest medicines available, vaccines can have temporary, tolerable and mild side effects, such as fever or a sore arm/leg in some children.

Will this vaccine protect my child for life? 

Every vaccine has a different potency. The current vaccine will be effective for upto 1 year in children.  However, the impact may differ from child to child. 

It is possible that over time, additional doses of vaccine may be needed, in order to provide continued protection. It will take ongoing evaluation over several months and years to understand how our immune systems respond to this virus, and how vaccines that become available assist in that response.

Last, but not the least …

While you might have several queries, concerns and apprehensions about this new vaccine, we request all parents to not delay your child’s care in other matters too! 

Apollo Cradle & Children’s Hospital offers tele consultations for all pediatric issues, and works around the clock to keep your child safe and sound at every in-person appointment.

If you have questions about the Covid19 vaccine and your child, call 1860 500 4424

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