Amid a misinformation campaign launched by some forces to create confusion among the masses, Dr. N. K. Arora, Chairman of COVID-19 Working Group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) on Friday dispelled the myth that vaccines cause infertility.
"When the polio vaccine introduced and was being administered in India and other parts of the world, this sort of a rumour had spread at that time too", Dr. Arora recalled, adding, "At that time, a misinformation was created that children who are getting polio vaccine may face infertility in the future. This sort of wrong information is spread by the anti-vaccine lobby". He, however, said that all COVID vaccines do not cause infertility.
"We should know that all vaccines go through intense scientific researches. None of the vaccines have this sort of side effect. I would like to fully assure everyone that this sort of propaganda only misguides people", Dr. Arora said.
Rural people are not taking COVID seriously
Dr. Arora said that recently he travelled to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and spoke to people in both urban and rural areas in these states to understand issues of vaccine hesitancy. "Many people mostly from rural areas do not take COVID seriously and confuse it with normal fever. People need to understand that COVID may be mild in many cases. But when it takes a severe form, it may become a financial burden and may also lead to loss of life", he said.
Vaccines available in India are completely safe
NTAGI chairman said that it was very encouraging that we can protect ourselves from COVID through vaccination. "We must all firmly believe that COVID-19 vaccines available in India are completely safe. I assure everyone that all the vaccines have undergone rigorous tests, including clinical trials that are globally recognized", he said while trying to dispel myths about vaccines.
As far as side effects are concerned, all vaccines have mild side effects. This includes mild fever, fatigue, pain in the injection site, etc. for a day or two. It does not cause any serious side effects.
No, side-effect does not mean vaccines are ineffective
The expert said that most people do not face any side-effect after COVID vaccination but it does not mean that vaccines are not efficient. Only 20% - 30% of people are going to experience fever after vaccination. Some people may get a fever after the first dose and not have any fever after the second dose and vice-versa. It varies from person to person and it is highly unpredictable.
One can be infected after taking both doses
The NTAGI chairman admitted that infection may occur even after taking both the doses of vaccine. But, in such cases, the disease will certainly be mild and the chances of a serious illness practically become nil.
Further, just to avoid such an occurrence, people are being told to follow COVID appropriate behaviour also after vaccination. People can transmit the virus, which means that the virus may pass through you to family members and others.
"Had the vaccination of people aged above 45 years not been done, then death rates and burden on hospitals would have been unimaginable. Now, that the second wave is on the downslide, credit for it goes to vaccination," he said.