The COVID-19 vaccine is here and is finally open to everyone above the age of 18 (sorry kids). Finally, we can take a step towards normal life and non-socially distanced world. Getting the vaccine feels like victory over this pandemic and we are all ready for it… somewhat. And no, we’re not talking about the shortage of vaccines (that is a blog for another day), but rather our stupidity when it comes to getting them. We’ve all seen the crowded vaccination centers, long lines of people sticking together and heard fake news of the vaccine doing more harm than good. However, more than anything, what baffles us is how people flout COVID-19 safety norms while getting the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s as if the virus doesn’t exist in the vaccination centers! Hence, to know more about being safe while getting vaccinated, from both COVID-19 and other complications, we asked Dr. Yogesh Chandarana, DNB (Surgery) & General Surgeon for his advice. He says,
We’ve noticed that when it comes to COVID-19, most people are not losing their sense of taste or smell, but rather their common sense.
1. Be Aware Of Your Allergies & Co-morbidities
While the vaccine isn’t dangerous per say, you should inform the doctor about all your allergies, medical conditions and medications you are taking. This way, the doctor at the vaccination center can determine whether you should take the vaccine or not, and this can be life-saving for you. Dr. Yogesh strongly urges people to embody the “full-disclosure” principle and be honest and open about all their medical history and conditions, if any.
2. Your Mask Should Be Glued To Your Face
Don’t remove your mask for any reason. Don’t lower it. Don’t fidget with it. Don’t touch it. Not even for a second.
, says Dr. Yogesh who literally could not stress on this point enough. During this pandemic, the mask has been extremely important, yet people take it lightly by wearing it below their nose, removing it often and not keeping it clean. Vaccination centers are crowded and wearing a mask is of utmost importance. Getting the jab doesn’t require you to take off your mask either.
3. Do Not Touch Your Face
Many of us don’t realise that the virus can spread through surfaces and guess what the most touched surface is for us… our face! We keep touching our face without realising it. This allows the virus to enter our system through our eyes, nose and mouth. Dr. Yogesh says not to touch your face, especially at the vaccination centers and to wash your face (after washing your hands) when you get home.
4. Demand Your Distance
With long lines and crowded centers, social distancing has gone for a toss. However, you can demand it! Dr. Yogesh is all about maintaining a safe distance and urges us to ask for it! If someone is too close for comfort, tell them to back-off. Similarly, don’t crowd around the registration desk or near the fans. Maintain social distancing even when no one else is.
5. Don’t Immediately Rush Home After Your Jab
Dr. Yogesh says,
Don’r rush back home after getting your jab. Stay there for the designated time. You can develop a reaction the vaccine and if you’re home it could lead to complications.
After getting your dose, hang in there for a bit. Find a spot away from the crowd and stay there for the designated time period.
6. Eat Before Getting Vaccinated
Have a healthy meal or snack before getting your shot! Avoid going on an empty stomach.
7. Collect All The Tokens & Receipts And Double-Check Your Details
Dr. Yogesh says that it is important to collect your documents after the jab and double-checking your details. It may seem obvious but many people don’t bother doing it and their tokens and receipts keep circulating the database, which doesn’t help anyone. So please take a few minutes to check your paperwork!
We may be a whole year in this pandemic, but we are none the wiser. We have to make a conscious effort to be safe, mask-up and maintain social distancing! Because after all, we don’t want to get COVID-19 while getting the COVID-19 vaccine, do we?
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