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Should I get Covid-19 vaccine shot even if I am Young and Healthy?
Current Covid-19 statistics – India & Globally (Updates)
A very common question which I am being asked every now and then. Should I take Covid-19 vaccine even if I am Young and Healthy?
Another question I got today was “I am in my 20’s, I don’t have any other disease. I have good immunity. Is it necessary for me to take covid-19 vaccine shot or I am ok without it?
Covid-19 vaccine for young and healthy is always the topic of debate. Let me clear some basic things first. No matter what your age is, you can get infected by a covid-19 virus, period. Whether you will show symptoms of infection or not, that depends how strong is your immune system. But let me tell you one more thing, sometimes your immune system becomes so reactive to the virus that it starts attacking your own healthy body tissue. A lot of people lost their lives due to this very reason. It is known as “CYTOKINE STORM”.
Although young people are not as vulnerable to covid-19 complication as children or older people yet they are the main carriers of infection in the community. You may not show symptoms of infection but you can transmit the infection to others.
Now let’s discuss the scenario in India. In Asian countries like INDIA, young people still live with their families. Unlike western countries, Indians live in joint families. It may include elders, children and people suffering from other diseases. You are young and healthy but they are not. So if you have the coronavirus inside you then you can cause them trouble.
What If I take all precautions and don’t infect them?
It is not practical for everyone to keep distance with their family members and follow all precautionary measures. You are living with your family 24×7. You are bound to make mistakes every now and then.
What If I am living alone, should I take Covid-19 vaccine?
As I mentioned earlier, sometimes your immune system overreacts to the virus and causes more damage than the infection itself. I have personally seen many young patients and doctors losing their life to covid-19 infection. They didn’t have any other disease. The only reason was covid-19 complications due to cytokine storm. So in short, yes you should take covid-19 vaccine shot. In this way, not only you will save yourself but your family, friends and all loved ones too. Why even take a chance?
According to studies, those people who were infected with Covid-19 with no symptoms or those who had only mild symptoms were tested, their antibody titers (the thing which fights covid-19 virus) fell by 50% in a month. These titres became undetectable after a gap of two months. So even if you already got immunity (herd immunity) from others, it won’t last long. You may have developed cellular immunity but then no data is available regarding that.
Vaccination status Globally
The Russian government has already vaccinated 100,000 individuals with an efficacy of 95%. They are planning for mass vaccination. With federal funding, the Japanese parliament has also passed a bill to ensure free vaccination to their citizens. UK government is getting 350 million doses of the vaccine when their population is only 67 million.
The Scripps Research Institute, USA are predicting that vaccine protection is superior than the natural immunity.
Covid-19 vaccine for Young and Healthy
Sadly, Young people are not going to get a vaccine soon. Priority group like Frontline and municipal workers, Healthcare workers: Public and private, Population above 50 years of age, Areas with high COVID-19 infection and then Remaining population etc. will be the ones who will get the vaccination first. These will include old people, those at high risks like people with a weak immune system and those suffering from other diseases.
Young people will be given the vaccination at last. So as of now, you don’t need to worry much about vaccination. As your time of vaccination will come, you will be much more aware of the pros and cons of covid-19 vaccine. Maybe better vaccines will be available by then. WHO even predicts that young people may even have to wait till 2022 to get their vaccine shot. So instead of worrying whether getting covid-19 vaccine shot is a good choice or not, you should practice all precautions so that you don’t get an infection.
Can Children and Pregnant females take COVID-19 vaccine?
Right now, no data is available as trials were not done in pregnant females and children. Although some pharmaceutical companies have started trials on children under 12 years of age, data is yet to be published for any further action. They will be added in the list later.
The decision on who will get the covid-19 vaccine shot first solely depends on the government of that particular country, their strategic plans and people making those plans. If they want to reduce the mortality then they will prefer the vulnerable people first and if they want to reduce the transmission then they will target young first. As far as India is concerned, the Indian government is focusing more on reducing the mortality (deaths).
What are the possible side-effects of vaccine?
Various side effects of currently licensed vaccines seen in recipients were nausea and vomiting, pain redness/itching at the site of injection, fever, chills, rigors, headache, body-ache. None of them needed any medical intervention and they were gone in couple of days. We don’t know about long term complications of the vaccine yet because of obvious reasons.
Vaccine tourism is a new trend
The Covid-19 pandemic may have brought hell to many but it surely now becoming a boon to travel agencies. Last I have heard and read that some travel agencies in India are offering packages for the UK which include flights, hotel accommodation, meals. So those with the money can get their vaccine early while others have to wait for their free dose of vaccine.
Keep a watch on this page, I will keep updating information about this topic as more and more data becomes available.