Sunday, April 11, 2021

My first dose of Covishield

In India, the vaccination window for people above 45 years of age without comorbidities opened on April 1. I got my first dose on Friday.

There is a remarkably efficient process of registration at a specially created web portal -- CoWIN -- for what the India government says is the world's largest vaccination drive. On entering the postal code, one can choose the vaccination centre from the options available at the locality and the time slot.

Those who don't want to go through the online process can just walk into a vaccine centre (who will do the registration on behalf of them) and get a time slot allotted.

VACCINATION CENTRE TO CLOSE

I chose the nearby superspecility hospital just because of the proximity factor. It's less than 10 minutes walking distance from my home. 

I reached at the scheduled time of 12 noon. They checked my credentials and told me something that I didn't expect. They are closing the vaccination facility at the hospital. 

I asked them why. It's because they are getting too many Covid patients now and they think it's risky to have perfectly healthy people walking into a place like that to get themselves inoculated. 

(By the way, the 2nd wave has hit India very badly, and aided by assembly elections in five states, and in the absence of any lockdown or curfew, the cases are spiralling out of control.)

The hospital's decision sounds logical in one way, but I haven't heard of any advisory saying Covid hospitals shouldn't run vaccination centres. So, I think there could be some other reason too behind the decision. There are many big hospitals that are treating Covid patients and also running a vaccination facility.

THE TWO AVAILABLE VACCINES

I was informed that I would be injected the Covishield vaccine. That's the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India. 

There is one other vaccine available in India. That's an indigenous one, Covaxin, made by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology. 

Johnson and Johnson will shortly start clinical trial of their single-dose vaccine.

I was told that when I take the next dose between 28 days and 60 days from that day, I must ensure that it's Covishield itself.

IT'S OVER?

I then walked into the vaccination room. The nurse informed me just before pricking. Then, I could see her keep a swab of cotton on the spot for a minute or two. And then she stepped back and said it's done. But felt nothing!

She informed me about the possible reactions, and told me to take any paracetamol tablet (Crocin and Dolo are the most common in India) just in case I get a fever. She told me that I could feel a sort of heaviness on the left arm where I took the jab.

THE CHILL AND TIREDNESS

Till about 9 pm I was okay. Then I felt a bit chilly so much so that I had to switch off the fan. The weather is actually warm now. I took my temperature. It read 99. That's just on the edge of the normal range. No wonder I was feeling cold.

I didn't get good sleep that night. The next day, yesterday, I was feeling very tired, and had a headache-like heaviness in the head. In the morning, I had to repeatedly lie down. But I didn't take any tablet.

After a sleep in the afternoon, the heaviness in the head was gone, but still I wasn't feeling fully okay. Today, I am back to my normal self, except for a slight pain in the area when I lift my arm.

I have got a message on my mobile phone from the government that I have been "partially vaccinated". I also downloaded a digital certificate from the CoWIN website.

I must make sure I don't forget the 2nd dose. Quite possibly, I would get reminders from the Government of India.

8 comments:

  1. Hari Om
    crikey, that sounds a whole lot more efficient than the UK even! Paper certificates here - and now the government is talking about the need for "vacc passes" to attend any place of function (= gathering) they have to reinvent the wheel... sigh... glad you didn't have too prolonged a reaction. YAM xx

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    1. Hi Yamini - Thank you! I think Vaccination Passports will become a reality soon!

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  2. Sounds like it went well. Glad you had only mild symptoms.

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  3. Good work. I hope people conquer their fear and get vaccinated soon.

    Destination Infinity

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  4. With vaccination we must still continue to wear masks, maintain social distancing and keep sanitizing. I have still not taken the vaccine.. with too much crowd in the hospitals.. I have been postponing, hopefully i along with my husband must take this vaccine.

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  5. Restrictions are lifted and then people are shocked there's been a surge of cases. I'm glad you got your vaccine. Everyone seems to feel lousy after they get it, but it's worth it to build up your strength against COVID.

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  6. Hi Pradeep - so glad you just had a very mild reaction ... I was told to move my arm and body around a bit - to get the circulation going ... yes I got a paper jab ... but older people don't all have Smart phones ... anyway - we're getting covered. Pleased to read this - Hilary

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