The fight against Covid took a new turn as, finally, vaccines against the disease were introduced. The immense effort, to vaccinate the huge population as fast as possible, has begun to bear fruit with people now having taken the second dose.
Has it been 15 days since you took the second shot? If so, Congratulations!! You can consider yourself “fully vaccinated”. You have given yourself the chance to fight the virus, and come out winning!
However, the time to actually throw caution to the wind hasn’t arrived yet…here are a few things you need to keep in mind in this new world.
1 – Follow the public guidelines.
Yes, you have been vaccinated. It will give you some degree of protection. However, the virus is still there, and it is mutating…so, for your safety and that of others, follow social norms – wear a mask in public, keep a distance of feet, sanitize your hands as and when required.
2 – You are not completely immune.
Remember, no vaccine is completely foolproof. Though the vaccines you have received have a high rate of efficacy, there is always the small chance that you could still get the infection. The vaccine is intended to reduce the severity of symptoms, and lower morbidity and mortality rates.
3 – You could infect someone.
Though you have received the vaccine, everybody hasn’t. There is a small chance that you could be an asymptomatic carrier, and unknowingly spread the infection to a person not yet vaccinated. Though the chances are slim, the research in this area is still nascent, and requires more data.
4 -You may need boosters.
As we all know, this virus has been mutating at an alarming speed, at times stumping and impeding the treatment protocols. Though you have been vaccinated to cover most mutations, there’s always a chance that the virus mutates so much that booster shots may be required. Also, we don’t yet know how long the immunity lasts; that research is also ongoing, and will need time.
It is possible that for the foreseeable future, you might require booster vaccine shots regularly, maybe once a year, like a flu shot.
5 – Visiting is allowed.
Being fully vaccinated, it is comparatively safe for you to meet friends or family members who have also received the vaccine. You could also visit people who haven’t yet taken the jab, however, in this case, try to keep the meetings to single families .As far as possible, avoid gatherings of multiple families , as chances of them infecting each other can increase. If unavoidable, meet outdoors. Maintain a social distance of about 6 feet, always keep masks on.
6 – Make those medical appointments.
The epidemic has forced us to postpone medical treatments, surgeries, dental appointments. You can now, safely, get all those treatments and surgeries put on hold.
7 – No quarantine required.
Post vaccination, if you are exposed to someone who is Covid positive, you need not quarantine yourself; chances that you will get infected are very less. If you start showing symptoms though- cough, fever, breathlessness- be sure to notify your physician and get yourself tested.
8 – Avoid Travel.
There are a lot of variants of the Covid virus, different strains in different countries. Travelling exposes you to people from different regions, could cause cross infection. You could become a carrier or contract infection from a strain the vaccine isn’t effective against. Travel, therefore, is discouraged at present.
9 – Keep the vaccination records with you.
The vaccine card is proof that you have received the shots, and been immunized. It will probably be required that you show this proof before travelling, in some areas of work, as a part of your health checkups. Keep it close to you.
10 – Herd immunity is the answer.
The ultimate goal is to reach herd immunity; have enough population vaccinated that the disease is neutralized. The only way of achieving this is by vaccinating as many people, as soon as possible. If you haven’t gotten the jab, please do so as and when the authorities make the vaccine available to you.
Getting vaccinated is the first step in a fight against this pandemic. Even if you have been vaccinated, you need to be vigilant. At the slightest sign of symptoms -get tested. If required, get a booster dose. Maintain social norms. Stay healthy!
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