With COVID19 vaccine getting close to approval for public use in India, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Tuesday said people who had recovered from COVID19 infection should also get vaccinated.
“If you already had the virus and recovered, you still need to get vaccinated with a COVID19 vaccine,” said DAK President and influenza expert DrNisar-ul-Hassan.
“Those who recover from COVID19 infection are getting infected with the virus again,” he said.
The DAK president said we were under the impression that if a person gets infected with the virus, he would develop antibodies and would not get the disease again.
“But many people who recover from COVID19 do not develop antibodies,” he said. “Even those who mount adequate antibody response, their antibodies fade over time and they become susceptible again.”
Dr Hassan said what the virus was doing was in some way compromising aspects of our immune response, leaving people vulnerable to repeat infections
“Vaccine will get around this,” he said.
Dr Hassan said there was evidence that vaccine induced immunity may be much stronger and lasts much longer than immunity built by contracting the virus.
“That means even if you have recovered from the virus, you should get the vaccine,” he said.
Dr Hassan said the vaccine would protect one from getting COVID19 infection and prevent one from getting seriously ill even if you do get the virus.
“Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID19,” he said. “If enough people are vaccinated, we may even end the year-long pandemic.”
Dr Hassan said COVID19 vaccine was a two-dose schedule with the second dose to be given 21 days after the first dose.
“The maximum effectiveness of the vaccine was observed seven days after the second dose. That means full protection is achieved 28 days after the initiation of the vaccine,” he said. “While the vaccine is needed for all, it is not recommended for pregnant women and children under 16 years of age. The vaccine hasn’t been tested on expecting mothers and kids. But trials in these age groups are ongoing or planned.”