On April 1st, the COVID-19 vaccine drive opens up for all individuals 45 years and above.
The Serum Institute of India released a fact-sheet for its COVID-19 vaccine Covishield which has received emergency use authorisation in India and is one of the two vaccines approved for inoculations in the country.
Here’s all you need to know if you take the viral vector vaccine:
What should you mention to your healthcare provider before you get Covishield vaccine?
Tell the healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including:
1. If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) after any drug, food, any vaccine or any ingredients of the vaccine
2. If you have fever
3. If you have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
4. If you are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
5. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
6. If you are breastfeeding
7. If you have received another COVID vaccine
You should consult your healthcare provider before deciding to take the vaccine.
Who should get the Covishield vaccine?
The two-dose vaccine has been approved for restricted use in emergency situation in individuals18 years of age and older
Who shouldn’t get the COVID vaccine?
You should not get the vaccine if you:
1. had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
2. had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine.
What are the ingredients in the Covishield vaccine?
The vaccine includes the following ingredients: L-Histidine, L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, Polysorbate 80, Ethanol, Sucrose, Sodium chloride, Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA), Water for injection.
How is the Covishield given?
The vaccine will be given to you as an intramuscular (IM) injection only, preferably in the deltoid muscle. The course consists of two separate doses of 0.5 ml each.
If you receive one dose of the Covishield vaccine, then the second dose should be administered between 6 to 8 weeks after the first dose. However, there is data available for administration of the second dose up to 12 weeks after the first dose from the overseas studies.
If you miss your second dose: If you forget to go back at the scheduled time, ask your healthcare provider for advice. It is important that you return for your second dose of Covishield vaccine.
What are the risks of the Covishield vaccine?
Side effects that have been reported with the vaccine include:
Very Common (may affect more than 1 in 10 people)
1. tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching, swelling or bruising where the injection is given
2. generally feeling unwell
3. feeling tired (fatigue)
4. chills or feeling feverish
6. feeling sick (nausea)
7. joint pain or muscle ache
Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)
1. a lump at the injection site
3. being sick (vomiting)
4. flu-like symptoms, such as high temperature, sore throat, runny nose, cough and chills
Uncommon (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)
1. feeling dizzy
2. decreased appetite
3. tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching, swelling or bruising where the injection is given
4. abdominal pain
5. enlarged lymph nodes
6. excessive sweating, itchy skin or rash
These may not be all the possible side effects of vaccine, but it vaccine has been found to be safe and effective in trials conducted so far, and doctors have allayed unwarranted fears over serious adverse events.
What should I do about side effects?
If you experience a severe allergic reaction, call or go to the nearest hospital or healthcare provider.
Will the Covishield vaccine give me COVID-19 infection?
No. The vaccine does not contain SARS-CoV-2 and cannot give you COVID-19 infection.