I went for my first vaccine shot yesterday (21 June 2021). Little did I knew that I would be amongst the first 2000 of the innoculatees on the Covin App (I am informed that there were 2000 vaccination centers that logged in the Covin App at 9 am. I was numero uno at Wockhardt Bombay Central Center) of the over 8.6 million citizens who were vaccinated yesterday. This is a world record of sorts. This blog is about two issues. First, my experience at such a world record shattering vaccination drive and second, my experience of the vaccine shot dispelling all the negative experience, misinformnation and bull shit (one politician has voiced his concern around the vaccine containing the serum of cow or calf. It would have been slightly better if it was a chimp) around the Covid vaccination experience that Indians have voiced on the social media.
The Largest Vaccination Drive in the World
Acting on Supreme Court of India’s directive, Covid Vaccination was made available to all citizens of India, above the age of 18, free of cost from yesterday by the Central Government. While the policy decision is being welcomed by all the States and some of the political parties, managing the strategy, co-ordination and logistics is a herculean task. I must congratulate all the teams involved in the State and Central Government for their world record shattering performance. Let me explain the magnitude. There are 137 countries in the world which have a population of less than 8.7 million. See Chart. Or in another words, a certain politician governing New Delhi who promised to vaccinate the whole of Delhi in 2 months provided vaccines are made available by the Center and a prescriber of odd/even rule, would have completed vaccinating all the males of Delhi in one day!
My Experience with the Vaccination Drive
As I had opted for Covaxin (see below) and was on the priority list of the Maharashtra Education and Drug Department (MEDD) of medical workers in February 2021. Due to my trip to Bangalore, I had to miss my slot. For four months, there was no supply of Covaxine first dose at their designated vaccination centers in Bombay. The slots which opened up in private hospitals filled up quickly. Hence after a wait of 4-months, I was able to get the booking for 21 June 2021. The Cowin App has its own issues and crashes as millions are simultaneously trying to book a slot across the country. There is similar issue at the vaccination centers early in the morning at 9 am when all the centers simultaneously log in to the Cowin site. After a few minutes, the site starts accepting the innoculatees information and the process begins. The rest of the process and protocols are smooth.
Why I went for Covaxin?
As I already had a Covid/SARS like infection in 2012 and the experience of all the doctors working for us with the Covaxin, I preferred to go for Covaxin instead of Covishield. The key differences between the two are given below:
Covishield vs Covaxin – As per Mohfw.gov.in
- Intramuscular vaccine
- Developer – Developed by the Oxford-AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
- Vaccine type –
- Prepared using the viral vector platform
- Contains harmless chimpanzee adenovirus – ChAdOx1 incapable of infecting the receiver
- Teaches the immune system to prepare a defence mechanism against the active virus.
- Similar technology has been used for developing a vaccine against Ebola
- Doses required – Two-dose regimen
- Efficacy – A good result of 81.3% efficacy rate, as per Medical News Today.
- Intramuscular vaccine
- Developer – Developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV).
- Vaccine Type –
- Inactivated vaccine
- Developed with Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell-derived technology
- Containing inactive viruses, Covaxin teaches the immune system to prepare a defence mechanism against the active virus.
- Similar technology has been used for developing vaccines for various diseases like Seasonal influenza, Rabies, Polio and more.
- Doses required – Two dose regimen
- Efficacy – A good result of 80.6% efficacy rate, as per Medical News Today.
Post Vaccination Experience/Side Effects
As per the typical side effects mentioned for Covaxin, here is the summary of what I experienced
|Injection site pain or swelling or redness or itching
Stiffness in the upper arm
Weakness in injection arm
Others symptoms that I experienced
First urine after vaccine (2 hours later) was very brownish. Kidneys were cleaning up the mess
This morning I woke up as per my normal timing and even went for my daily walk (completed my 6000 steps target) https://www.linkedin.com/posts/kapilkhandelwal_beating-the-vaccine-jab-side-effects-to-the-activity-6812945231244333056-Qvxm I was in office today and worked through the day without any symptoms of any side effects (a slight head ache in the afternoon post lunch). It’s 12 midnight and I am still working on posting this blog.