With most of us waiting on our second dose of the COVID-19 vaccinations, it’s important to separate the misinformation related to the vaccine from the facts. So, we reached out to Dr. Rupie Gohil and Dr. Mansi Sarvaiya, MD Internal Medicine, AKA the Doctor Sisters, and invited them to host an Ask Me Anything session on the Girl Tribe by MissMalini app. They answered all the questions the Tribe had on the COVID-19 vaccine, scroll down to read all that they shared!
Q. I’ve heard that Covaxin is better than Covishield. Is this true?
The data that we have up till now is that Covaxin is around 75% and Covishield is around 70% efficacious. These numbers are actively changing as more folks get vaccinated and we have more data, so we can only share what we know as of today. That being said, there is the risk of catching COVID-19 while waiting for vaccination, which is why the recommendation is to get the one that becomes available first.
Q. How long will two vaccine doses protect us? Will we need to get vaccinated again in the future?
So far, data suggests that vaccines will be able to protect us for up to 6-9 months. But vaccines do help our immune systems create memory cells, and they should be able to protect us for a longer period of time. And yes, there is a possibility that we will need boosters as we do with the flu vaccine The real-world data so far has suggested that vaccines definitely prevent severe Covid, hospitalisations, and deaths.
Q. Can pregnant women in India take the vaccine? If yes, then which one is advisable.
WHO does recommend pregnant females to get the vaccine considering risks vs benefits. So far Moderna and Pfizer have been safe in pregnancy. We are still waiting on full clinical trial data for Covaxin and Covishield.
Q. Is it safe for lactating women to take the vaccine?
The vaccines were not studied in lactating females initially. We definitely need more data on it. That being said, yes, since both Covishield and Covaxin are not live virus vaccines they are less likely to cause any harm, and in fact, may provide the baby with immunity to the infection via antibodies through breast milk.
Q. Can the vaccine be taken if a woman has her periods?
Yes, it can be taken. There’s no evidence of any trouble taking the vaccine while menstruating.
Q. I’ve heard that it’s better to wait for Pfizer if one has PCOS, otherwise one can battle blood clots. Is that true?
Not necessarily, since there’s such limited data regarding the vaccine in specific conditions. However, it is possible that PCOS could lead to a higher incidence of blood clots in general, just as oral contraceptives and smoking increase the risk. Since the risk of a Covid-19 infection is currently so high, the recommendation is to get whichever vaccine is available to you. However, if there has been a history of blood clots, it would be prudent to opt for the vaccines that have not been associated with blood clots.
What would you like to know about the COVID-19 vaccine? Please share it with us in the comments below!