NEIGRIHMS Pulmonologist, Dr. Vijay Noel Nongpiur today maintained that there is no strong long-term data to recommend the side effects of the Covid-19 vaccines.
He was speaking as one of the panelists from among the group of specialist doctors on Covid-19 in the presence of the DHS (MI) Aman War at a live conference organised here on Saturday.
Dr Nongpyiur said among the major side effects was seen with the University of Oxford vaccine where a single case of transverse or paralysis was observed. However, he said it was just a single case from among the thousands of people vaccinated and not directly attributed to the vaccine.
With regards to the efficacy of the Covid vaccines, he said, “We need to follow up the vaccine development for a minimum of three or four years to have robust data if the vaccine is effective or not.”
Stating that based on these ten months of research it was seen that most of these vaccines show a similar level of efficacy which is about 94-95 percent, he however said, “We have to be mindful that it is not a cure.”
“There is no definite anti–Covid-19 medication drug, vaccine, or anything, and as of now we don’t have long-term data to support and see long-term side effects of these vaccines,” he added.
Meanwhile, with regards to convincing people to get themselves vaccinated, Dr. Aman War DHS (MI) said that when the measles vaccine was discovered, it was difficult to convince mothers to get their children vaccinated. Likewise, he said, there was a time when mothers prefer giving birth at home than to go to a hospital for the delivery.
“In the course of experience, we have seen that we lost many cases related to measles because people were apprehensive then. But with time and awareness campaigns people have accepted the vaccine for measles and likewise to go to hospitals for deliveries to avoid any complications.”
Stating that for anything new introduced in the market people have reservations, he however said, “Because of this pandemic we have already spread the awareness and activated through the district administration on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine when comes and people can voluntarily come forward.”
Informing that health workers are insured to a tune of Rs 50 lakhs, he said no medicines are devoid of side effects but protection is more important rather than the complication of the vaccines.
He also said that they will take a call to see if the vaccines are covered under the MHIS.
War further informed that at present Covid-19 tests are carried out only to those with symptoms and high risk and radom tests are conducted in areas where clustering cases are detected.
“We also conducted a radom test in Madanryting area today and 25 people were all tested negative from the virus,” he said that those people tested positive earlier are all high-risk contact with those tested positive of the disease.
He maintained that a surge in the second wave will not happen in the State if people strictly follow protocols and by avoiding the three Cs which include ‘Close contact, crowded places, and close spaces.’
Meanwhile Dr. Vijay Noel Nongpiur today said that there are no clear-cut guidelines as to how long you can wear a mask.
“You can wear it as long as you are comfortable but in case of a single-use mask, it should be discarded once it’s visibly soil like with saliva, etc both from the inside and outside. Those having asthma and other chest diseases are advised that the moment they feel restless they should remove the mask and try to do so in uncrowded places and when alone but to also follow the other protocols like hand sanitizing, etc,” he said.
One of the specialist agreed that people are apprehensive to visit a hospital that is already equipped with trained staff and who strictly follow the Covid-19 protocols, but don’t hesitate to visit crowded market places that are more dangerous.
He said when people become complacent then that becomes dangerous. The specialist doctor said the Covid-19 virus cannot be related to temperature or weather conditions whether it will rise during winter or summers.
He however said that respiratory diseases during the winters are always quite serious and a rise in the Covid-19 cases is expected.