By Siddhi Jain
New Delhi: This year has been a double whammy. These earlier diseases are still prevalent and we have COVID added to the disease spectrum and has similar symptoms to many of the common respiratory diseases.
Still, there has been a significant drop in the number of routine adult immunizations administered since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, compared to last year. Vaccines are the most effective healthcare procedures. It is especially suitable for those who have a sensitive immune system, and are prone to falling ill every now and then. Moreover, the pandemic also suggests the urgent need for immunization of people of every age group. It would be a matter of concern if the illnesses pop at a rapid rate.
Dr. Ajay Gangoli, Medical Director Apollo Health, and Lifestyle Limited highlighted, “The entire world is dealing with a new, unknown and rather an erratic virus, but don’t forget that the old ones are still around. This is usually the time of the year when several children and adults come down with illnesses like dengue, malaria, typhoid, the flu, or viral fever. Children, elders, and pregnant women are vulnerable to seasonal infections. Everyone must get themselves vaccinated every year, against flu infections and seasonal diseases. Don’t lower your guard even for a few minutes. Wear a mask, sanitize your hands often, and keep social distancing.”
Dr Ajay Gangoli added, “Usually, post-childhood, the only vaccines that people opt for, are before traveling to countries where it is mandatory to do so. But, now you can consult your doctor and opt for a full health check and, based on your age and other parameters, get the recommended vaccine.”
The impact and effect of the vaccine will differ moderately from person to person. “Choose a trusted hospital or clinic that adheres to the ICMR guidelines and protocols for hygiene and safety. Also, check if have a track record of near-zero infection transfer rate,” said Dr Ajay Gangoli.
Dr Suresh Birajdar, Consultant, Pediatrics & Neonatology, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar said, “You should give a flu shot to your children right from when they are 6-month-old. Then, they will also be scheduled to go for another flu shot after a month. Children who are less than 9 years of age and haven’t got a flu shot before should also get at least 2 flu shots. Similarly, those children who are under the age of 9 and have just got only one flu shot must also get themselves vaccinated immediately. Speak to the doctor about when you must get a shot for your children and opt for it accordingly.”
Dr Birajdar added, “It is recommended that children get vaccinated on the schedule and with adequate precautions of hygiene and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by the healthcare personnel. You can get your children vaccinated at the pediatrician’s clinic as it would be safe. The doctor will have the record of your child and suggest vaccines accordingly. You must stay in touch with your child’s pediatrician/hospital, and know what you must do in case your child is sick. See to it that your children adhere to the COVID-19 protocol, wash their hands properly, make them eat a well-balanced diet, and disinfect the surfaces at the home regularly.”