Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Tuesday said that if a person gets infected after the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine he should take the second shot soon after he recovers to gain its full protective benefits.
“People who contract COVID-19 after the first dose still need to get the second jab,” DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan said.
However, he said that people shouldn’t get the vaccine while sick. “People should get their second dose as soon as their isolation is over. One should take the second shot two weeks after all the symptoms of COVID have been resolved,” he said.
Dr Nisar said he is aware of several cases where someone tested positive for COVID-19 after getting their first dose. “They should get their second dose of the vaccine after they get over with their quarantine to gain its full protective benefits”.
The DAK President said people are fully protected against the COVID-19 only after the second dose. “It is vitally important to get both doses for best protection against the COVID. First dose primes the body with an initial immune response”.
He said the second dose is the one that really gives the boost to the immune system. “It induces a level of virus neutralizing antibodies about 10-fold greater than the first dose. Also, the second dose induces cellular immunity, which predicts not only longer protection, but better protection against variant strains,” he added.
Dr Nisar said there are two COVID-19 vaccines that are being used in Kashmir right now — Covaxin and Covishield — which have two-dose schedule.
He said doses are spaced depending on which vaccine you get. “The time interval between two doses of Covaxin is 4-6 weeks, while second dose of Covishield can be taken 4-8 weeks after the first. But, there is some data that delaying the second dose of Covishield up to 12 weeks gives a better immune boost”.
The DAK president said it is imperative to take the same vaccine for both doses and mixing of the two should not be done.