With Covid-19 vaccination drive set to begin across the country including Jammu and Kashmir on January 16, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Thursday said People with allergies can take Oxford Covid-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India.
Statement issued to news agency-kashmir news service(KNS) reads, “Anyone with history of allergy to food or medicine can have the vaccine,” said DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“However, people allergic to any of the ingredients present in the vaccine should not take the vaccine,” he said.
“Covishield contains weakened adenovirus encoding Covid-19 spike protein. The other components in the vaccine are L-histidine, L-histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, magnesium chloride hexahydrate, polysorbate 80, ethanol, sucrose, sodium chloride, disodium edetate dihydrate and water for injection.”
DAK President said the vaccine can be considered for use in pregnancy when the potential benefits outweigh the risks.
“Pregnant women can take the vaccine if the risk of exposure to Covid-19 is high or if the woman has underlying condition heightening her risk of serious complications,” he said.
“Women who are breastfeeding can also be given the vaccine.”
Dr Nisar said the Oxford vaccine is in injectable form and the route of administration is intramuscular. It is to be given into the muscle at the top of the upper arm (deltoid muscle).
“The vaccine has been approved for use in people 18 years or older and consists of two separate doses of 0.5 ml each. The second dose should be given between 4 to 6 weeks after the first dose,” he said.
“However, there is data available for administration of second dose upto 12 weeks after the first dose from the overseas studies.”
“The vaccine can be stored in ordinary refrigerators which means the vaccine can be administered in existing healthcare settings,” said Dr Nisar.
“Vaccine is the single best defense against Covid-19 that would save lives and prevent disease transmission,” he said.
“We need to communicate to people about the importance of the vaccine and dispel miscommunication, conspiracies and anti-vaccination distortions.”(KNS)