COVID-19 Vaccine: Frequently asked Questions

June 9, 2021

Prevention is better than cure.

Never in the history of mankind, have we witnessed a disease which has threatened the very existence of human-beings. COVID-19 has unleashed a fury of suffering and death. In combating this deadly virus, vaccine is a potent weapon. We are all aware that there are several vaccines against COVID-19. They are Covishield, COVAXIN, ZyCoV-D, Sputinik, Biological E’s novel Covid-19 vaccine, BBV-154 intranasal vaccine, COVOVAX and mRNA based vaccine (HCG019). Some of them are available for use while some of them are still under trials.

1. Who should get the COVID-19 vaccine?

In India, as of now, all adults above 18 years of age should get vaccinated against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccine is safe in people with health problems like diabetes, hypertension, asthma and other lung disease, kidney and liver disease, chronic infection, and autoimmune disease.

They are also considered safe in women who are lactating i.e breast-feeding. However, those with severe form of allergies and pregnant women need to consult their doctor before considering a vaccine.

2. Can vaccines be taken during the menstrual periods?

Yes, definitely. Vaccines can be taken during menstrual periods.

3. What about vaccination in individuals less than 18 years of age and children?

The safety in children and individuals below 18 years of age is still under trial in our country. Drugs or vaccines are usually tested first in adults, to avoid exposing children. As the vaccines are safe in adults, they are now being tested in children. Till the results of these trials are available, ensure children continue wearing mask, clean their hands frequently and follow social distancing.

4. Can I take the 2nd dose of a different vaccine than the 1st dose?

No. Two doses of the same vaccine must be taken. Currently, there is no enough evidence on interchangeability of vaccine types.

5. After vaccination, can I still get COVID-19?

Yes, you can still get COVID-19 after vaccination but it will generally be a mild form. Vaccination protects against severe disease and death from COVID-19. The protection offered by the vaccine starts about 2 weeks after the second dose.

6. Can I stop taking precautions after being vaccinated?

No. Continue to wear a mask and maintain distance and follow the guidelines given by authorities, in view of safety of everyone.

7. Will the vaccine result in a positive PCR or antigen test for COVID-19?

No, vaccination does not give a positive test.

8. Should I take a vaccine if I had COVID-19 in the past?

Yes, you must take the vaccine even if you had COVID-19 in the past. This is so because we do not know how long the natural immunity against COVID-19 will last following infection. Also, the immune response varies from one individual to another. So, please take the vaccine even if you had COVID in the past, after the period defined in the guidelines.

9. Do the vaccines protect us from the variants of virus?

Yes, the vaccines are expected to give some protection against new virus strains also and prevent us from serious illness and death. These vaccines bring about a broad immune response that does not significantly reduce their efficacy against variant viruses.

10. How do these vaccines act?

In simple words, vaccines work by preparing and training our immune system to recognise and fight off the viruses or bacteria which they target. After vaccination, if our body is exposed to these disease-causing organisms, the body’s immune system is immediately ready to destroy them, preventing serious illness.

11. Will these vaccines provide long-term protection?

It is too early to know this because studies are still going on. However, there is good data that suggests that there is some period of protection from re-infection following the disease.

12. What should I do after getting vaccinated? What are the side-effects?

Stay at the place of vaccination for at least 15 to 30 minutes under observation by health care workers. Check when you should go for the second dose. Generally, there are no side-effects. Rarely minor side effects like arm soreness, mild fever, tiredness, headaches, muscle or joint aches may develop. You need to contact your care provider if the symptoms do not subside in a few days or if they increase in intensity.

As this disease is new, we are all learning more and more about it. We must do all things possible to stop its spread. We must wear mask, maintain distance, avoid crowded and poorly ventilated places, cover a cough or sneeze, and stay healthy. This is the new normal.

Vaccine is our potent weapon in this battle against the deadly COVID-19 virus. Go, get yourselves armed with the vaccine.

Sources: WHO and ICMR guidelines.





By Dr Archana Bhat
Dr Archana has completed her MBBS from JNMC, Belgavi in 2010 and MD Pathology from Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore in 2015. She has got a post-doctoral certificate in Renal Pathology. Her fields of interest are Nephropathology, Pulmonary pathology and cytopathology. She is working as Assistant Professor of Pathology at Father Muller Medical College and also a member of the Medical Education Unit. She is the Associate editor for RGUHS journal of allied health sciences. Her hobbies include poetry writing, drawing and cooking.
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Comment on this article

  • Rudolf Rodrigues, Mumbai

    Fri, Jun 11 2021

    Unplanned & random vaccination programs will prove highly counterproductive as new mutants will surface at regular intervals in the long run like the Delta variant! Also the important question of transporting, storage & logistics is a very important factor in its efficacy! Now black fungus & other opportunistic infections will raise their hydra head soon for which we don't even have sufficient amount of antibiotics & doctors? THE ABOVE IS JUST A PERSONAL OPINION BASED ON MY KNOWLEDGE OF THE SUBJECT;KINDLY DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH & DECIDE!

  • Rudolf Rodrigues, Mumbai

    Fri, Jun 11 2021

    Unplanned & random vaccination programs will prove highly counterproductive as new mutants will surface at regular intervals in the long run like the Delta variant! Also the important question of transporting, storage & logistics is a very important factor in its efficacy! Now black fungus & other opportunistic infections will raise their hydra head soon for which we don't even have sufficient amount of antibiotics & doctors? THE ABOVE IS JUST A PERSONAL OPINION BASED ON MY KNOWLEDGE OF THE SUBJECT;KINDLY DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH & DECIDE!

  • Dev, Mangalore

    Fri, Jun 11 2021

    @ Anthony, Mangalore, welcome to another side of the coin, I appreciate every person who doesn't want to go with the flow but would like to question every claims and self promoting research studies. About Vaccine named Zoycov D is DNA based by Cadila. It is based on plasmid DNA, circular & extrachromosmal. Again it too is self replication technology with genetic engineering method like dangerous mRNA vaccines but here outer protein cover gets replicated. Nobody knows what they might do as no long-term study isn't there. It too might lead to autoimmune diseases and cancers too. The second BBV 154 uses Chimpanzee virus through nasal spray like normal respiratory tract infections do to stimulate neutralizing lgG, mucosal lgA, & T cell response , so far so good but vector here is bacteria that is not in the nature just like the first and it might lead to autoimmune system to go haywire and might cause autoimmune diseases and cancers too in the longer run. To conclude- No artificial immune boosters have succeeded in providing safe and effective protection unless one is compromised (either safety or effectiveness) against mutating viruses like corona till today. Let us improve our immunity the way our ancestors did successfully against 1,20,000 known viruses through good lifestyle and natural diets (not processed with chemicals). The mortality rate of same or less dangerous than seasonal flu of 0.003% isn't a pandemic and doesn't require any unproven vaccines is my firm opinion based on my research.

  • John, Mangalore

    Fri, Jun 11 2021

    Following recent Divine warning on effects of western vaccines (also Our Lady, Blessed Mother warned of communist errors in 1917 in Fatima that is to control the church and world, looks like using viruses and vaccines they are causing much damage before the said war.) Jesus on doctors oath, drug companies (Big Pharma), western liberal elites and communist leaders plan in a message to John Leary dated Friday, April 9, 2021... Jesus said: “My people, you are familiar with how Moses held up the bronze serpent on a pole to heal the Hebrews from their snake bites. This caduceus is a symbol of the oath that doctors take so they promise to make patients well instead of killing them. You have the FDA to approve drugs for use on your citizens. It is sad that drug companies are making drugs and shots that they take no liability for what effects their drugs have on people. The Covid vaccines are dangerous because many people are getting sick and some people are dying who were vaccinated. But this information is not given to the public. With so many bad reactions, these vaccines should be taken off the market, and not forced on people. These vaccines are ruining people’s immune systems, and when the next deadly virus comes, many people will die without a good immune system to fight this virus. The worst of this problem is that the virus and vaccines are all part of a pre-planned effort to kill millions of people to reduce the population. Your leaders are behind this plot, and they are lying to the public about the need for vaccines, let alone making vaccine passports a means to steal your freedoms. In the end these evil people will be killed and sent to hell...

  • Rev .Fr Richard Aloysius Coelho, Director, Father Muller Charitable Institutions , Kankanady, Mangalore

    Fri, Jun 11 2021

    Congratulations to you Dr Archana Bhat. Very informative article.Keep writing which is necessary and informative.

  • John, Mangalore

    Thu, Jun 10 2021

    Covishield itself a spreader after first dose or second dose from vaccinated to those unvaccinated ? Pink / Red eye due to adeno virus in Covishied ? No pilot test done before mass inoculations ? The one which caused havoc, now difficult to rule out whether it was a virus mutant or vaccine generated mutant ? These global elites or communists outsmart our normal doctors? Covishield's different story in europe... "Two countries, Norway and Denmark, have now completely halted injections of COVID shots by AstraZeneca, with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health stating that the AstraZeneca experimental shots are associated with a higher risk of injury and death than the COVID-19 virus...." Ref:

  • anthony, mangalore

    Thu, Jun 10 2021

    Thank you Dr Bhat and also Dev from Mangalore for the other side of the story. What is the latest about ZyCoV-D and BBV-154 intranasal vaccine. Its quite obvious therefore, I am inclined towards Dev's Logic.

  • Dev, Mangalore

    Wed, Jun 09 2021

    As the doctor has quoted the article is based on WHO & ICMR which themselves have become puppets in the hands of the richest 1% elites whose end game plan is depopulate and Global Reset along with greed for more money and absolute power nothing independent opinion can be expected. Firstly as per the first sentence it isn't the deadliest disease ever faced by mankind but a hoax if US CDC reported data has to be agreed upon as it claims it is just like or less dangerous than seasonal flu with recovery rate of 99.997% with or without any medicines. Secondly the tall claims by vaccine industries has been never confirmed by any independent study but we have seen more serious infections amongst frontline warriors like doctors which has suffered 650 deaths till last report despite getting the 2 jabs in India . And fake claim of vaccines providing protection more than natural infections is a big lie which again not proven but Lancet Peer reviewed study finds the vaccines only provide limited immunity and only less than 1 or 1.3 % immunized got antibodies while they are found to be lasting only 3 months. Natural infections despite dwindling antibodies are known to impart memory to other immune providers like Killer T cells even when new mutated strains infect them which vaccine generated immunity hasn't been found to. Feel sad when an ordinary flu like infection is used to market unproven vaccines and how even most educated medical professionals are mislead by vaccine industries through sheer propaganda and those who asked questions based on data and real scientific truths get silenced with threats to cacell their licences and their posts are censored and deleted by a few 20+ aged guys on laptop in silicon valley as fact checkers. Why Big Tec is scared of people who ask questions? Why runaway from truths? Why they are contributing to Scamdemic? Is it just because they are part of the same people who have invested in vaccine industries which would be lost?

  • John, Mangalore8

    Wed, Jun 09 2021

    Western vaccines are not weapons against virus but themselves bio weapons ? Some out of box or expert thoughts on western vaccines for this communist chinese bio weapon virus and their partners in crime Globalist liberal elites' Big pharma vaccines by 5 western highly qualified in bio technology and medicine including 4 women doctors warn Big Pharma vaccines themselves are Bio weapons, in their following article (link) on health impact news says and why? Ref:

  • M A RAHIM, Mangalore/moodbidri

    Wed, Jun 09 2021

    Very good article for the benefit of the common people. Please enlighten us with such common medical problems

  • Ronald Mathias, Bendur-Mangalore / Bahrain

    Wed, Jun 09 2021

    Dr. Archana Bhat, thank you for the information which is very much needed, for the general public. I have forwarded to my whatsapp groups. Keep is a good platform.

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