Tuesday, 23 April, 2024

Should those who recovered be vaccinated?


By Sampada A. Khatiwada
Kathmandu, Feb. 16: The government began a new phase of vaccination campaign from Sunday, targeting to inoculate 300,000 people in district and area offices, including the government officials, policemen, bank staffers, journalists outside the valley, and those who were left out earlier.
While the inoculation drive against the novel coronavirus has been going on in full swing, those who have already recovered from the coronavirus infection are in dilemma about whether or not to get inoculated considering that they have just recovered from the infection and the jabs were created at a lightning speed.
Meanwhile, health experts say vaccination is essential even to those who have already recovered from the infection. Dr. Jhalak Sharma Gautam, chief at the Child Health and Immunisation Section of the Department of Health Services, said that it was essential for those who have recovered from COVID-19 to get vaccinated.
"Vaccination will boost the body's immunity power. Thus, it is important for everyone including those who have already contracted the virus and recovered from it to get vaccinated," said Dr. Gautam, adding "Only children below 18 years of age, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, women who are planning to conceive and those who have shown some allergic reactions to the first jab should avoid vaccination."
"Firstly, the vaccine against COVID-19 will prevent from contracting the virus. Even if anyone gets infected with the novel coronavirus after being inoculated, the vaccine will prevent him/her from being seriously ill and will also prevent the transmission of the virus to others," said Dr. Gautam adding that vaccination was imperative to defeat the pandemic.
Likewise, Dr. Bipin Nepal, consultant and head of the department of transfusion medicine at Grande International Hospital said, "People tend to develop natural immunity, aka antibody, after recovering from the novel coronavirus infection. But the naturally developed antibodies may or may not last for long."
"Furthermore, enough antibodies cannot be formed to fight the virus if the White Blood Cells do not function normally," said Dr. Nepal. "It is not possible for everyone, who have contracted the virus, to ascertain whether their body has produced enough antibodies to keep them safe from reinfection. Thus, it is important for them to get vaccinated."
As artificial antibodies are administered into the body via vaccination, these antibodies will work efficiently to fight the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Thus, being inoculated against the virus is a must for everyone regardless of whether they have been infected before or not, added Dr. Nepal.
Moreover, Dr. Rabindra Pandey, a public health specialist, said, "Even people who have had COVID-19 can benefit from the vaccine."
"Severe health risks are associated with COVID-19 and it has not been proven for how long can COVID-19 antibodies in our system can protect us from the virus. Hence, everyone, especially those who have a chronic health condition, should get the jab," added Dr. Pandey.