Our Good News before Your ‘Good News’!!
Apollo Health & Lifestyle Limited to launch the Corona Vaccination Programme very soon:
After 10 months of incessant concern, anxiety and waiting, happy news about the Covid-19 vaccines is here.
Ever since a lockdown was announced to deal with the virus, the Apollo group of hospitals and clinics, India’s most trusted name in healthcare for more than 37 years, took swift action to deal with it, while strictly following ICMR guidelines and procedures.
Setting up COVID Care centers within societies, organizations and neighborhoods to ensure that people would not need to be inconvenienced in any manner, the team at Apollo was swift to take action. They also developed Home Care Quarantine packages for people who were either asymptomatic or had minor symptoms, helping them to recover comfortably from home. To further assist the common man, Apollo Diagnostic labs ensured non-stop services, which included home testing and delivery of lab reports.
Due to this unprecedented situation, the most vulnerable groups have been pregnant women, elderly citizens, children and heart & kidney patients. But, even in the midst of a tensed lockdown, Dialysis patients were able to continue their procedures twice a week, thanks to COVID-free Apollo Dialysis clinics maintaining a near-zero infection transfer rate.
Similarly, pregnant women, new mothers and infants could safely visit Apollo cradle and Children’s Hospital for all their needs.
THE VACCINE IS READY :
The Apollo Hospitals Group, always at the forefront in pioneering initiatives, adoption of new technologies for delivery of care, testing and prevention, will now be the largest Private Organization to offer the vaccine.
The Apollo group has a sturdy, pan-India presence. It has an incredible:
19 medicine supply hubs with cold chain facilities
500 corporate health centres
This is the reason that the Apollo group is actually in one of the best positions to ensure massive administration capacity of COVID-19 vaccines.
Having collaborated intensively with various prestigious Indian and foreign Pharma companies who are developing vaccines, the Apollo Group is now in a position to ensure that the vaccine can be made available to the maximum number of people.
WHEN / HOW SOON?
Once the Government of India declares the dates, the Corona Vaccine from AHLL will start being available, and the first dose will be given either as a precaution and preventive for the virus, or in certain cases as part of the treatment to patients who are recovering.
Disclaimer: The exact date will be announced as per the Government of India directions.
WHY IS A VACCINE NECESSARY?
Vaccines are lifesavers. In these last few decades, vaccines for illnesses like smallpox or polio have contributed to children as well as adults enjoying a safer and longer life. There has also been a vast improvement in mortality and morbidity rates.
While some vaccines are given soon after a child is born, and then in the first few years, there are a host of adult vaccines for short term as well as long-term protection, e.g. while travelling to another country, people can opt for flu shots.
Similarly, during pregnancy women are given certain vaccines to protect their babies.
WHAT DO VACCINES DO?
By building antibodies in our system, vaccines strengthen our immunity. After being vaccinated, even if a person interacts with a positive case, they stay protected. Either they do not contract the specific illness, or if they do – it is a mild version of the same.
With the current virus being at the cynosure of everyone’s attention, 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 it, is a vaccine.
HOW WILL THIS VACCINE WORK?
This vaccine will be given in 2 doses. There will be a gap between the 2 doses, but the time lapse will be declared by the pharma manufacturer’s guidelines.
WHERE WILL IT BE AVAILABLE?
The vaccine, will be available at all Apollo Hospitals and Healthcare facilities across India. (For detailed list of the Apollo Cradle network, see https://www.apollocradle.com/our-centres/
It will be administered by highly trained medical staff only, and will NOT be an Over-The-Counter medicine.
Since the age, health and individual constitution of a person can make a difference, the vaccine will have mildly dissimilar impact on people, and efficacy might range from 70 to 96%, depending on multiple factors.
HOW IT WORKS:
According to experts, a vaccinated person will develop antibodies that will keep him/her protected from Corona for up to a year. In such circumstances that a person is infected, they are unlikely to be seriously ill, as the reaction will be minimal.
More importantly, a vaccinated person will protect the people around, by not posing a risk to them. This is very valuable in situations where there are high-risk family members – like the elderly, the unwell or pregnant women.
WHAT ABOUT PREGNANT WOMEN AND NEW MOTHERS?
Each pharma company’s vaccine has been tested on a mixed group of people during the research and development phase. Certain groups of people may have been excluded from these studies for the time being, to avoid complications.
Depending on a case to case basis, this vaccine may / may not be given to pregnant women or new moms as they are / will soon be breastfeeding. ‘High Risk Pregnancies’ may also be asked to wait / take further tests before opting for it.
This may be decided after conducting certain pre-tests and consulting with the Gynaecologist treating the person.
STORAGE & SHELF LIFE:
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.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
The price will be fixed by the Government of India once it is launched. However, citizens can rest assured that Apollo will be offering these at affordable and convenient charges.
WHO CAN TAKE IT?
All people of all age groups. The vaccine can be safely administered to all. However, one needs to consult one’s doctor for high risk patients.
IS IT SAFE FOR ALL?
So far, the certified vaccines have been tested only on people who have volunteered for the same. However, this group may have excluded the elderly with health issues, children or pregnant women, therefore the research is not yet 100% conclusive. Which means that as of now, the given vaccine may be more suitable for some, and less for others.
Data points out that since each individual constitution is unique, the efficacy and side effects may vary mildly. However, so far the outcomes are very optimistic and that is the reason that the Government of India has green signaled the same.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS?
Side effects may include slight soreness or pain where vaccinated, mild fever, fatigue, headaches or mild flu-like symptoms_____.
These symptoms may last less than a week in most cases.
IS A VACCINE NECESSARY IF A PERSON HAS ALREADY TAKEN A FLU-VACCINE?
The flu vaccine will not protect someone from getting COVID. In case a person has taken a flu vaccine a few days ago, they should wait for at least a week before this one.
SHOULD A PERSON GET VACCINATED IF THEY ARE UNWELL?
If a person is unwell and has any kind of fever, headaches, cough or cold they should self-isolate. In case they are already in home quarantine, waiting for test results, they should only get a vaccine after they test negative.
CAN A VACCINATED PERSON GIVE THE VIRUS TO ANYONE?
The vaccine reduces a person’s chances of catching the virus. However, there is no recorded information so far about whether a person can get a mild or asymptomatic version of the same, after getting vaccinated.
Therefore, it is imperative that people continue to follow the norms of social distancing, wearing masks and frequent handwashing.
It is still a long way to go, before things become relatively normal.
SHOULD CERTAIN PEOPLE AVOID TAKING A VACCINE?
In most cases, vaccines can safely be given to all people in the specified age group. However, people with severe allergies to certain components of the vaccine will need to wait, until their doctors give them a go-ahead.
Similarly, pregnant women will need to consult their gynaecologists and internal medicine specialists before getting vaccinated. Women who are having a ‘High Risk Pregnancy’ (HRP) will have to be twice as careful for the time being.
HAS IT BEEN TRIAL-TESTED? WHAT ARE THE RESULTS?
Yes, all the vaccines being developed are being trial-tested on a mixed group of people.
However, since the numbers are still limited and each individual responds differently, conclusive results will only be shared just before the vaccines are ready to be rolled out.
Like with all vaccines, this one too should be taken under the advice of your family physician keeping in mind your health.
It also means, that for the next few months or even the year ahead – maintain the stipulated social distance, wear masks and keep your hands sanitised. In short, DON’T LOWER YOUR GUARD