The vaccination drive began in the state along with the rest of the country on January 16 and, so far, 7.91 lakh persons have been administered the first dose, said MA Pandya, state director, National Health Mission. The vaccine is around “60 to 70 per cent effective” and if a beneficiary contracts coronavirus now, it is possible the may not develop symptoms but he can transmit the virus to others unknowingly.
WHO is working in collaboration with scientists, businesses and global health organizations to speed up the pandemic response and facilitate the equitable access and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. This course provides general information on COVID-19 and specific information on storage, handling and administration of the vaccine, recording and monitoring including for adverse events following immunization.
People with asymptomatic infection have a less strong immune response as compared to those who have been seriously ill and get a good antibody response. So, in general, we are now recommending that people should get a COVID-19 vaccine if they fall into that priority group. The immune system recognises the same antigen, the same protein. And thus even if you have had an infection previously and you now get a vaccine, it acts like a booster, says Dr Swaminathan. “The vaccine boosts that immune response – the antibody response as well as the T cell response. By getting a vaccine, you are assured that you have a good immune response that is going to last for long time,” she explains.
The testing usually starts in adults as in case there is an unexpected side effect that scientists are still not aware of, children should not be the first ones to be exposed. COVID-19 vaccines developed so far have been tested in people above the age of 18 and in one case 16 years. Data is currently available for this population. This is the population for which vaccines are recommended.
For the first phase of the drive, the state government had identified 4.31 lakh health workers, 6.93 lakh frontline workers, 1.03 crore citizens above the age of 50. and 2.67 lakh citizens below 50 but with severe co-morbidities such as thalassemia and heart ailments.