World Immunization Week 2021 - Vaccines Bring Us Closer
Every year, the last week of April (24-30) is observed as World Immunization Week. It serves to promote awareness about understanding the benefits of vaccines by people of all ages to protect against infectious and communicable diseases. It should be noted that immunization saves three million lives every year, is cost-effective, reduces mortality and morbidity, and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful health interventions.
Importance of Immunization
Immunization follows the principle of “Prevention is better than cure.” Thus, diseases that once used to be common globally like Polio, Measles, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Rubella, Mumps, Tetanus, Rotavirus, Rabies, and others can now be prevented by vaccination. Vaccination develops immunity in babies and children. It protects them from a life-threatening disease that can include amputation of an arm or leg, paralysis of limbs, hearing loss, convulsions, brain damage, and death. Adults take vaccination to develop immunity against viral diseases like pneumonia, hepatitis, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis, and swine flu. In India, some of the most common vaccinations are vaccines for meningitis, hepatitis, rabies, tetanus, and many others. The incidence of liver cancer has dropped because of Hepatitis B vaccines. Similarly, the Flu vaccines have reduced the hospitalization of patients by 70%.
COVID-19 Immunization Program in India
The COVID-19 vaccination drive in India has begun on January 16, 2021, across 3,006 vaccination centers after the DRUG regulatory body approved COVAXIN and COVISHIELD as vaccines for restricted emergency use. The vaccine drive in India has been in three phases. The first phase is over, and the second phase is expected to wind up by the end of May or mid of June. The third phase will begin on May 1, 2021, and will be for all citizens over 18 years of age. Thus every citizen of the country is requested to participate in the vaccine drive.
Why a person should get COVID Vaccine?
- Wearing masks, avoiding crowded places, and staying 6 feet apart are suitable preventive measures to prevent the spread of the COVID virus. However, getting vaccinated will work with your immune system and make it stronger to fight the coronavirus if it ever gets into your body in the future.
- Vaccines are safe and effective. They are important to protect yourself, your family, and your community from the deadly COVID-19.
- Vaccines reduce the chances of infection among the population. It also reduces the hospitalization of patients, which we observe nowadays due to COVID-19.
- Vaccine reduces the stress on healthcare workers and healthcare facilities, thus providing better care for many other urgent clinical cases.
- Vaccines protect the population from young to old by preventing the transmission of disease inside the home and outdoors.
Dos and Don’ts after getting COVID Vaccine
- People infected with coronavirus in the last one-and-half month or have received blood plasma therapy or monoclonal antibodies must refrain from taking the vaccine.
- The vaccine should not be given to pregnant and lactating mothers.
- After receiving the vaccination, if the beneficiary experiences discomfort or pain at the injection site, he/she should not panic as these side effects will go away in few days. If it persists, then visit your nearest healthcare center.
- Take sufficient rest post covid vaccination and hit the gym or play sport after a day or two. Do not rush to have any physical activity immediately post covid vaccination.
- People should avoid drinking alcohol in the first 24-48 hours post-vaccination, although it does not reduce the vaccine's effectiveness. Drink plenty of water instead.
Hetero Healthcare urges everyone to participate in the COVID-19 vaccination drive and prevent the spread of the virus. It always starts with a single person. If every person takes the responsibility to get vaccinated, wears a mask, and wash hands properly with sanitizer and soap, we will make our present memorable with our family and give the upcoming generation a bright future.
“Vaccines bring us closer”
- WORLD IMMUNIZATION WEEK 2021. 2021. WORLD IMMUNIZATION WEEK 2021. [online] Available at: https://www.worldimmunizationweek.org [Accessed 28 April 2021].
- Immunization, T., 2021. The Importance of Immunization. [online] KDAH Blog. Available at: https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/blog/the-importance-of-immunization/#:~:text=Vaccination%20protects%20children%20from%20serious,cough%2C%20are%20still%20a%20threat [Accessed 28 April 2021].
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2021. Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine. [online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/vaccine-benefits.html [Accessed 28 April 2021].
- Haele, T., 2021. Health Do’s and Don’ts After Covid Vaccination. [online] Medium. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/vaccine-benefits.html [Accessed 28 April 2021].