The Centre’s vaccination guidelines suggest that an individual who is recovering from Covid-19, should not take the vaccine and wait for at least 4 to 8 weeks after recovery to get the jab.
While there is no scientific study available to indicate that vaccinating an infected person might cause adverse effects, senior doctors attending Covid-19 patients provide anecdotal evidence to suggest that an infected person should not take the vaccine.
According to them, many patients get hospitalised after developing mild to severe infection after receiving the first shot of the vaccine.
Reasons for this could be many. Such people might be getting infected at the vaccination centre due to the presence of other infected persons. Or they might be lowering their guard after the first dose and end of contracting the virus.
“Besides these reasons, another probability is that a lot of people, who are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, are taking the vaccine which is causing adverse reactions in their bodies and they are being hospitalised,” Dr. Samrat D Shah, internal medicine specialist and honorary internist to Governor of Maharashtra,” said.
Dr Shah says that the immune system of an infected person is already fighting against the virus and when such a person is vaccinated, a new viral vector is being introduced into the body. “In such a case, one’s immune system has to face the threats of two viral antigens which might cause adverse effects in the body,” Dr Shah said.
Gyaneshwar Chaubey, a professor of genetics at Varanasi’s Banaras Hindu University (BHU) seconds Dr Shah.
“Let’s presume that a person is suffering from a particular strain of the virus. The vaccine, which is made from a spike protein of some other strain of a virus, can trigger an additional immune response. This can overburden the immune system,” Dr Chaubey said.
Other doctors working with Covid-19 patients suggest that the government should aggressively publicize the message, that those who have any Covid-19 symptoms such as fever, body ache, cough, loose stools etc, should not take the vaccine.
“Such a person should wait for a minimum ten days before coming for vaccination otherwise the vaccine might increase the severity of infection,” Dr Vishal Gupta, Consultant, Dept of Family Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Noida, said.
Asked if every individual should undergo an RT-PCR test before vaccination, Dr Gupta says that the test cannot confirm the infection in 40 per cent of cases.
“The doctor who is at the vaccination centre should enquire from each and every individual if he or she has Covid-19 symptoms. He should also inform the beneficiary about the adverse effect of the vaccine on an infected person, though I admit this will be difficult in rural areas,” said Dr Jugal Kishore, the head of community medicine at Safdarjung Hospital.
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