NI-TAG urges people to continue using face masks and maintain social distancing even after the first dose

Even after getting the first dose of Covishield vaccine, people should continue with the health protocols. Wearing a mask, hand washing and social distancing must be done until all the people in the world are vaccinated.

Dr Sonam Wangchuck, the national immunization technical advisory group (NI-TAG) member said people should know that the first dose does not produce adequate protection and even if some people have double doses it does not give full protection.

He said the entire population in the country is not vaccinated and so this set of population are not protected.

Also, to get the antibodies it depends upon person to person. Some people may produce antibodies as early as 7 to 10 days and some take 21 days to a month. Right after vaccination, it does not mean that a person will be able to fight the virus.

He said it is not necessary to have side effects to have the benefit of the vaccine as it all depends upon an individual biology.

Once a person gets vaccinated it is something that the body has not seen and the body’s immune system will fight it. When the immune system reacts to the antigen that is where the adverse reactions are experienced. That is an initial phase and after that the body will start producing antibodies. Even if one gets any infections the signs and symptoms will not get severe. As per  research there is a rare chance of people becoming transmitters.

Dr Sonam explains that usually any vaccine should have two doses. First dose is called priming and the second dose is the booster. The first dose of any vaccine is given since the body does not have any information of the new chemical so the body will produce antibodies and the booster dose is given as a reminder. To get the full protection rate, the second dose is required but that does not mean that the first dose does not give protection.

Recently three people received double doses of vaccine but it is still considered as the priming dose and they will have to have the booster dose. The health ministry has monitored them and they do not have any side effects.

Even if a person has two doses of the vaccine, masks and safety measures protect other vulnerable groups and the other advantage is protection from influenza.

He said in other countries there are many people who are not vaccinated and looking at the people coming into Bhutan, the virus will still enter the country.

All the vaccines are at the clinical trial whether it can be used to children below 18 years or not. As of now it is only Pfizer vaccine from below 18 to 12.

From the latest reports, if the second dose is given in 8 to 12 weeks there will be maximum protection. Bhutan will announce soon on when the second dose will be given. The similar campaign will be followed for the second dose as well.

Meanwhile, the seven day quarantine will not be lifted since the first dose of vaccine is not fully protective. 

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