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Dr Sujeet Rajan on Booster Vaccine Dose & the Covid Threat

On December 4, 2021 we hosted another one of our Health Live Webinars at Seniors Today this week where we had with us Dr Sujeet Rajan, a leading respiratory physician who spoke on and answered questions about the booster dose vaccine and the covid threat. 

Dr Sujeet Rajan is a leading respiratory physician from Mumbai. He graduated from the Grant Medical College in 1989 and is additionally a postgraduate in respiratory medicine from the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital in January 1994. He also holds a Diploma in Environmental, Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases from the CPS (College of Physicians and Surgeons) in Mumbai.
 
Following his post graduation, Dr Rajan has been actively involved in research and clinical practice at the Bombay Hospital and Bhatia Hospital, both in Mumbai. His areas of interest include interstitial lung fibrosis, airway disease, sleep disorders and end-stage lung disease. The research he has done has focussed around these areas, especially asthma, COPD and diffuse lung disease. He runs an ILD clinic with online MDD discussions. 

Dr Rajan is also a postgraduate teacher at the Bombay Hospital. He was also the European Respiratory Society’s National Representative from India from 2015 to 2018. He is also Indian Editorial Adviser for the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, and has over 38 publications to his credit.

Omicron was identified in South Africa and has understandably created a stir worldwide, it being a variant of concern. 

There are variants of interest and variants of concern and omicron is a variant of concern. 

A variant of concern is one which can spread faster, infect more people and disable whatever public health measures we’ve created to reduce viral infections, hospitalisation. 

For the next 10-14 days, we need to be vigilant, we need to watch the data coming from South Africa and the rest of the world. 

Global inequity of vaccines is huge. 

Dr Rajan’s usual take on travel during these times is- what is necessary should be done. And sometimes what is necessary is necessary for an individual’s mental health also. Having said that, Dr Rajan also emphasises on the fact that the usual precautions should be taken- wearing a mask, maintaining social distance and hand hygiene; and of course getting vaccinated. 

These simple non- pharmacological methods can help us bring down the rate of transmission.  

Shutting international borders is an extreme measure which in Dr Rajan’s opinion should not happen unless things go extremely out of hand. 

An open room gathering is much safer than a closed room gathering. 

A gathering with fully vaccinated individuals is much safer than a gathering of unvaccinated people. 

A high titre of the spike antibody is an indicator of high immunity but is not diagnostic of high immunity. 

We are likely to see new strains once every few months, because viruses mutate. 

The annual flu shot should be taken in April, because in Mumbai, as Dr Rajan was talking about, the peak flu season is between May to August and the second season is from November to February- for continental cities like Delhi. 

Even if you have mild asthma, it is important that you keep a steroid inhaler with you. When you get an attack, you are not supposed to take salbutamol anymore; which was the old relief drug. 

There is no solid proof as to whether you should get a cocktail of covaxin and covishield, if taking one dose of each is beneficial or has any known side effects. 

Dr Noor Gill
Dr Noor Gill, MBBS, deciphers the space between heartbeats, figuratively and literally. Powered by frequent long naps and caffeine, she believes that “knowledge without giving back to society is meaningless” and works to make caring cool again.

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