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Covid Vaccination Voluntary, Both Doses Important: AIIMS Director

Getting immunised against COVID-19 will be a voluntary exercise and it is important that both dozes of the vaccine be administered to an individual for developing better immune response against the disease, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria has said.Protective levels of antibodies generally develop two weeks after receiving the second dose, he said.The senior pulmonologist also stressed that the vaccine introduced in India will be as effective as any vaccine developed by other countries.With the COVID-19 vaccine expected to be rolled out within a few days, Mr Guleria answered some FAQs about the vaccination drive in a video uploaded on the health ministry’s website.He responded to questions such as whether taking the coronavirus vaccine was mandatory, how long does it take for the antibodies to develop and if it was necessary for a person recovered from Covid to take the vaccine.He said while getting inoculated against COVID-19 will be voluntary, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of the vaccine irrespective of past history of infection as this will help develop better immune response against the disease.”Vaccination for COVID-19 is voluntary. However, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of the vaccine for protecting oneself against this disease and also to limit the spread of this disease to close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers,” Mr Guleria said.On whether a person with an active COVID-19 infection can be vaccinated, Mr Guleria said a person with active and symptomatic coronavirus infection may increase the risk of spreading the virus to others at the vaccination site and thus, infected individuals should defer vaccination for at least 14 days after the symptoms are resolved.He said individuals who have one or more co-morbid conditions should take the vaccine because they fall in the high-risk category and should protect themselves. He added that their medications will not interfere with vaccine efficacy.



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