Apollo Health & Lifestyle Limited to launch the Corona Vaccination Programme very soon:
March 21st, 2020 was the first ever nationwide lockdown in India, as it followed global warnings about a largely unpredictable yet dangerous, contagious virus. As days turned into weeks, and then months, the dreaded nCOVID 19 created havoc.
The Apollo group of hospitals and clinics, which has been the most trusted name in healthcare for more than 37 years, took swift action to deal with it, while strictly following ICMR guidelines and procedures.
The team from Apollo set up COVID Care centers within societies, organizations and neighborhoods to ensure that people would not need to be inconvenienced in any manner. Home Care Quarantine packages were developed for people who were either asymptomatic or had minor symptoms, so that they could recover comfortably from home.
Diabetics could fearlessly walk into Apollo Sugar Clinics, and be assured that they were in a hygienic and infection-free environment. Special packages for them were also launched during the lockdown, so that they could avail of these at budget-friendly prices.
THE GOOD NEWS:
After more than 9 months, the much awaited news is now ready to be unveiled.
THE VACCINE IS READY TO MOVE:
The Apollo Hospitals Group, which has always been at the forefront in pioneering initiatives, adoption of new technologies for delivery of care, testing and prevention, is now going to be the largest Private Organization to bring out the vaccine.
The Apollo Group has collaborated intensively with various prestigious Indian and foreign Pharma companies who are developing vaccines, so that we can ensure that the vaccine is available to the maximum number of people.
The Apollo group has a sturdy, Pan-India presence. It has an incredible:
19 medicine supply hubs with cold chain facilities
500 corporate health centers
This is the reason that the Apollo group is actually in one of the best positions to ensure massive administration capacity of COVID-19 vaccines.
WHEN / HOW SOON?
The Corona Vaccine from AHLL will start rolling out very soon, and the first dose can now be taken as a precaution and preventive for the virus.
Disclaimer: The exact date will be announced as per the Government of India directions.
WHY IS A VACCINE NECESSARY?
Over the last few decades, it is thanks to vaccines for illnesses like smallpox or polio, that children as well as adults have enjoyed a safer and healthier life. The mortality rate has also improved greatly.
WHAT DO VACCINES DO?
Vaccines help build antibodies in our system, thus strengthening our immunity. Once vaccinated, even if a person comes in contact with a positive case, they stay protected. This means that either they don’t get infected at all, or if they do, it is a very mild strain of the virus.
Several pharmaceutical companies and research labs, in India and abroad, have collectively come to the conclusion that the fastest and most effective way to combat this particular virus, is a vaccine.
HOW WILL THIS VACCINE WORK?
The vaccine comprises 2 doses. The gap between the 2 doses will be declared soon and will be as per the pharmaceutical manufacturer guidelines.
WHERE WILL IT BE AVAILABLE?
The vaccine, developed through the Apollo collaboration, will be available at all Apollo Hospitals and Healthcare facilities across India.
It will be administered by highly trained medical staff only, and will NOT be an Over-The-Counter medicine.
Depending on the age, health and individual constitution of a person, the vaccine will have mildly different impacts, and efficacy may range from 70 to 96% depending on multiple factors.
HOW IT WORKS:
Experts say that a vaccinated person will develop antibodies that will keep him/her safe from Corona for a year. Even if such a person is infected, their chances of becoming seriously ill will be minimal.
A vaccinated person will also protect the people around, by not posing a risk. This is very valuable in situations where there are high-risk family members – like the elderly, the unwell or pregnant women.
STORAGE & SHELF LIFE:
The vaccine needs to be stored in a refrigerated facility, between temperatures 2-5 degree Celsius, which must be maintained at all times. It remains potent for one month.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
The price will be fixed by the Government of India once it is launched.
WHO CAN TAKE IT?
All people of all age groups, the vaccine can be safely administered to all. However, one needs to consult one’s doctor for high risk patients.
WHO WILL BE THE FIRST RECIPIENTS OF THE VACCINE?
As per the Apollo plan of action, in the first round, frontline workers and patients recovering from Covid-19 will be vaccinated as priority.
The various Apollo hospitals, clinics and medical facilities are equipped to administer a large volume of vaccines a day, so people can be assured that they won’t have to wait too long.
CAN PEOPLE WHO ARE MILDLY OR SEVERELY DIABETIC GET VACCINATED?
Yes, there is good news for diabetics. After consulting their physicians, they can get vaccinated without fear.
Diabetes patients who might have a challenging health condition while recovering from the virus, can also safely get vaccinated after their doctors give the go-ahead.
This is heartening, ‘sweet’ news for all people who are dealing with sugar issues, and have been anxious about whether or not they can opt for this vaccine.
IS IT SAFE FOR ALL?
Currently, the vaccines have been tested on people who have volunteered for the same. Since this group excludes the elderly with health issues, children or pregnant women, the research is not yet 100% conclusive. This indicates that as of now, the given vaccine may be more suitable for some, and less for others.
Data points out that since each individual constitution is unique, the efficacy and side effects may vary mildly. However, so far the outcomes are very optimistic and that is the reason that the Government of India has green signaled the same.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS?
Side effects may include: Slight soreness or pain where vaccinated, mild fever, fatigue, headaches or mild flu-like symptoms.
These symptoms may last less than a week in most cases.
IS A VACCINE NECESSARY IF A PERSON HAS ALREADY TAKEN A FLU-VACCINE?
The flu vaccine will not protect someone from getting COVID. In case a person has taken a flu vaccine a few days ago, they should wait for at least a week before this one.
SHOULD A PERSON GET VACCINATED IF THEY ARE UNWELL?
If a person is unwell and has any kind of fever, headaches, cough or cold they should self-isolate. In case they are already in home quarantine, waiting for test results, they should only get a vaccine after they test negative.
CAN A VACCINATED PERSON GIVE THE VIRUS TO ANYONE?
The vaccine reduces a person’s chances of catching the virus. However, there is no recorded information about whether a person can get a mild or asymptomatic version of the same, after getting vaccinated.
Therefore, it is imperative that people continue to follow the norms of social distancing, wearing masks and frequent handwashing.
It is still a long way to go, before things become relatively normal, so DON’T LOWER YOUR GUARD.
SHOULD CERTAIN PEOPLE AVOID TAKING A VACCINE?
Ideally, vaccines are safe for all and can be given to people in the specified age group. However, people who have severe allergies to certain components of the vaccine, might have to wait until their doctors give them a go-ahead.
Similarly, pregnant women will need to consult their Gynaecologists and Internal medicine specialists before getting vaccinated.
HAS IT BEEN TRIAL-TESTED? WHAT ARE THE RESULTS?
Yes, all the vaccines being developed are being trial-tested on a mixed group of people.
However, since the numbers are still limited and each individual responds differently, conclusive results will only be shared just before the vaccines are ready to be rolled out.
Like with all vaccines, this one too should be taken under the advice of your family physician keeping in mind your health.