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There has been a surge in infections over the past few months, making the second wave worse than the first one. It has claimed more lives than ever and India has witnessed new mutants and variants of the virus, a breakdown of system and severe medical crisis. Several experts believe that a casual approach after the first wave could be a possible reason that we ended up in a situation like this.Now that we know a third wave is inevitable, it is necessary to be prepared and asymptomatic transmission can be stopped if we follow guidelines regarding precautions, containment, treatment and testing. Experts say that in a few months when people will be start developing immunity naturally or due to vaccination, the virus may strike again and then it is only covid appropriate behaviour that can help guard them.
How effective is vaccination if the virus is constantly evolving?
While there’s a drastic surge in the number of infected people, it has led to panic among people. The constant threat of new mutants of the virus and how it could potentially harm them is a concern for everyone. You must know that virus typically change themselves and mutations are a common phenomenon, this does not affect the prevention, treatment or vaccination.You must get vaccinated and it promises to reduce the severity of the infection as well as brings down the mortality rate. Here, the role of COVID appropriate behaviour is critical. A three-ply mask, frequent hand washing or sanitising, maintaining physical distance, avoiding crowd and gatherings, especially indoors, must be followed and are still most effective in controlling the spread of COVID-19 virus.Things to remember:
- No vaccine is 100% effective. We know that there are several options in the market right now and some results are really impressive, the vaccines are tested in some are still undergoing trials, but none are fully effective and there have been instances were a fully vaccinated person got infected with the virus, even though the percentage is significantly low.
- Vaccines don’t provide immediate protection or is not effective right away. It takes about two weeks for your immune system to make antibodies to block the viral infection. Covid vaccines take longer than other flu shot, as it has two doses. Hence you are not completely protected and must follow safety measures.
- Covid vaccines may not prevent you from being a carrier and spreading the virus. The vaccine prevents people from becoming sick but does not stop you from becoming infected and passing the virus to others. There are researchers going on to figure out whether they prevent transmission too. Wearing masks and following the covid guidelines is the best way to protect people around you.
- People suffering from cancer, are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment have weakened immune systems. They are more vulnerable and the virus can be fatal for them. Wearing masks protect people with compromised immune systems. Although the vaccines appear safe, immune suppressed patients, including cancer patients, may not experience the 95% efficacy.
- Masks protect against any strain of the coronavirus, in spite of genetic mutations. While we are still trying to figure out new strains, wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, physical distancing is the only solution to reduce the risk of contracting all strains of the coronavirus.
ConclusionWe are all familiar with the rules and actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These include keeping a safe distance from others, limiting physical contact, wearing face masks, face shields, letting fresh air into our homes, washing hands frequently and making sure we cover our nose and mouth when we cough and sneeze. You may or may not have any COVID-19 symptoms and pass it on to other people while speaking, coughing or sneezing, people can also become infected by touching surfaces and belongings contaminated with COVID-19. Sincerely follow covid appropriate behaviour, not just for yourself but for the wellbeing of others, don't forget to look out for the symptoms of COVID-19 and self-isolate if necessaryREFERENCESwww.thehindu.com | khn.org