Mumbai: Go for vaccination after 6 weeks of testing positive for mild COVID-19 or 6 weeks after discharge from hospitalisation in case of severe COVID-19, said Dr. Shekhar Salkar, a noted Oncologist, Manipal Hospital, Goa.
He was speaking in a webinar yesterday on “COVID-19: Why get vaccinated’ organised by Press Information Bureau (PIB) Mumbai/Goa.
He said “Vaccination is a weapon with which we can control the pandemic. As on date, we have sufficient data of vaccines given to people, and these are not only scientific data. Side-effects have been found to be minimum, even lesser than 0.1%. We need to understand that vaccine not only provides immunity, but prevents people from getting infected for a second time. It also decreases the chances of hospitalisation due to COVID-19. Most importantly, it will bring down the figure of deaths due to pandemic significantly.”
“In the US, almost 70 million people have been vaccinated till now, out of which, only 5,000 people have been infected after vaccination and 78 patients succumbed to the virus. It means that the vaccines are more than 99.99% successful,” Dr. Salkar said.
Speaking on behalf of the medical fraternity, he said, “Though 78 may just be a number for us, we want to save every man on earth.” But, sometimes it is not possible with just medicines. “I think now it has been proved beyond doubt that vaccine is a saviour for us,” he said.
Duration of immunity
In reply to a query on the duration of immunity about vaccination, Dr. Salkar stated, “It is difficult to answer as the earliest COVID-19 vaccination in the world started just in last December. As per data available till now, it is believed to last for at least 6-8 months.” So, if a larger population gets vaccinated within 6-8 months, everybody will have some amount of immunity in the body, said the doctor. “After that, even if anti-bodies in the body become less in number, the recognition of the virus (foreign body) by the body will be easier,” he added.