Complete vaccination for better immunity: Experts

Though the vaccine is effective for a long duration post the first dose, the second dose should be taken as per schedule for early and better immunity
Representative Image
Representative Image

Chennai

While about 60 lakh people are awaiting the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccines in the State, people who are due or overdue for the vaccines are unaware of the effectiveness of the vaccine post the schedule. The experts say the vaccine is effective for a long duration post the first dose, and the second dose should be taken as per schedule for a better and early immunity. 
While State Health department officials find it challenging to bridge the second dose pendency in the State, experts say that awareness about the vaccination, even the delay part, is important. 
“If the second dose of the vaccine is past the due date and overdue, the recipient should know that the second dose can be taken even past the due date. It is equally effective. The delay in the vaccine up to six months can prove useful against the infection and effective. However, we require protection against the virus at the earliest and thus, it is important to get vaccinated as per the schedule. It is significant that people do not form assumptions and believe rumours which can be a cause of the second dose pendency in the State,” says senior virologist Dr Jacob John. 
While keeping up with the vaccine schedule is important, public health experts say it is more important to ensure that those who have taken the vaccine first dose, also take the second dose of the vaccine and have better immunity. 
“The priority to those awaiting the second dose is important as these people should not miss the jab. The vaccine’s first dose remains effective for a longer duration than the scheduled date of the second dose. The state health department should focus on getting the population vaccinated completely for better vaccination coverage and herd immunity. While delaying should not be encouraged, the vaccine course should be completed,” said public health expert Dr K Kolandaisamy.

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