Hyderabad: There are a lot of individuals who took their second dose of Covid vaccine in Hyderabad, and think they can start living normally without having to take precautions like staying indoors, wearing double masks, physical distancing, and still wouldn’t get infected again. Despite sky-high expectations from Covid vaccines, the fact remains that fully vaccinated individuals must continue taking precautions due to the questions regarding the efficacy of vaccines, chances of reinfections and even transmission.
A few days ago, the Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), United States had released a list of activities that fully vaccinated persons can take-up in the US. In its recommendations, the CDC said that fully vaccinated persons can gather indoors with unvaccinated people of any age. The CDC also allows fully vaccinated individuals to gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing masks.
However, people in Telangana are quite far away from reaching that Stage in the epidemic curve. “Yes, fully vaccinated individuals must continue to follow Covid Appropriate Behaviour. Universal use of masks, physical distancing, avoiding mass gatherings and hygiene will continue to remain paramount in our fight to contain the second wave,” says Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr G Srinivasa Rao.
Contrary to the recommendations of CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO) says: “Even after you’re vaccinated, keep taking precautions. While a Covid-19 vaccine will prevent serious illness and death, we still don’t know the extent to which it keeps individuals from being infected and passing the virus on to others”.
The Director of Department of Immunisation, WHO, Dr Katherine O Brien, in one of her talks on the need to keep taking precautions after vaccination, said that “Vaccinated individuals need to continue with these precautions while we are still learning about what the vaccines can do. For how long we continue to take these precautions is going to depend on how long countries would take to crush the transmission of the virus”.
Vaccine and immunology experts have also pointed out that there is no evidence of the efficacy of the vaccines in some age groups like children, who continue to be at risk of getting infected. Moreover, at present in Hyderabad and across the country vaccines are in short-supply and there are not enough vaccines to protect everybody in the community. Once vaccination is done broadly in the community, there will be a fair idea of what vaccines can do to prevent infections, which could decide when to do away with the precautions.
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