Couples undergoing fertility treatment can breathe easy. Apollo Health & Lifestyle Limited ready to launch the Corona Vaccination Programme very soon
In the last 10 months, the planet has been going through an intense shift – in perceptions, attitudes, choices and awareness about many things. Health and wellness have become a priority more than ever before. The value of having your family around is the biggest blessing ever.
This phase has also impacted long-term decisions of families, especially couples who are undergoing or wanting to undergo fertility treatments like IVF (In-Vitro Fertilisation). Most of them have chosen to delay the same, with growing concerns of Covid-19 and how it could impact the ongoing treatment, and eventually foetal health. With all the anxiety surrounding them, they have had to postpone their plans of parenthood.
The IVF treatment is a planned cycle that can take many months, and going to a fertility clinic multiple times has been a huge cause of concern.
When the virus led to a complete global lockdown, the Apollo group of hospitals and clinics, India’s most trusted name in healthcare for more than 37 years, moved with swift action to tackle it, while sticking diligently to ICMR guidelines and protocols.
COVID Care centers within societies, organizations and neighborhoods came up within weeks, to ensure that people would have convenient access to excellent healthcare. The team developed Home Care Quarantine packages for people who had no symptoms or minor ones, so that they could recover from home, comfortably. Apollo Diagnostic labs, with its widespread network provided non-stop services, which included home testing and delivery of lab reports.
All Apollo hospitals and medical facilities, including Apollo Fertility clinics kept their commitment of maintaining a near-zero infection transfer rate. Couples could safely visit the clinics for their treatments and procedures.
THE VACCINE IS READY TO MOVE:
The Apollo Hospitals Group, has proactively worked towards pioneering initiatives, adoption of new technologies for delivery of care, testing and prevention, and is now gearing to be the largest Private Organization to offer out the vaccine.
The group has been in touch extensively with various renowned Indian and foreign Pharma companies who have been developing these vaccines, so that it can be offered to maximum people in the shortest time.
The Apollo group has a sturdy, pan-India presence. It has an incredible:
19 medicine supply hubs with cold chain facilities
500 corporate health centres
This is the reason that the Apollo group is actually in one of the best positions to ensure massive administration capacity of COVID-19 vaccines.
WHEN / HOW SOON?
The phase 3 of trials on this are already in process in several states across India. Once the Government of India declares the trials as successful, the Corona Vaccine from AHLL will prepare to roll out immediately. The first dose will be given as a precaution and preventive for the virus. In specific cases, it may also be given to those who have tested positive, as part of their treatment.
Disclaimer: The exact date will be announced as per the Government of India directions.
WHY IS A VACCINE NECESSARY?
Several people are under the impression that vaccines are only given to babies and infants, to prevent illnesses like smallpox or polio.
While it is a fact that those newborn vaccines have allowed children as well as adults to enjoy a longer and safer life, there are many kinds of vaccines meant for adults as well. Some of these may be season-specific or country-specific, eg. flu shots.
WHAT DO VACCINES DO?
By building antibodies in our system, and strengthening our immunity, vaccines protect and save lives. They make the immune system ready to combat the illness or virus, while keeping us alright.
In the case of the current vaccine, once vaccinated, even if a person may come in contact with a positive case, they will stay protected.
Since Covid-19 is still to subside and is unlikely to be wiped out completely in the near future, several Indian and foreign pharmaceutical companies and research labs, have collectively come to the conclusion that the fastest and most effective way to combat it is a vaccine.
HOW WILL THIS VACCINE WORK?
The vaccine will comprise 2 doses. The gap between the 2 doses will be declared soon, and will be as per the manufacturer guidelines.
WHERE WILL IT BE AVAILABLE?
It will be available at all Apollo Hospitals and Healthcare facilities across India. (For detailed list of the Apollo network, see _____)
The AHLL group has confirmed that it will only be administered by highly trained medical staff, and will NOT be an Over-The-Counter medicine.
Data is still coming in, and accurate information will be made available soon. As of now, we do know that depending on the age, health and individual constitution of a person, this vaccine, like all others, will have mildly different impacts, and efficacy might range from 70 to 96% depending on multiple factors.
HOW IT WORKS:
Researchers have shared that a vaccinated person will develop antibodies to keep him/her safe from Corona for upto a year. In case such a person then gets infected, their chances of becoming seriously ill will be minimal.
A vaccinated person will also become a warrior and protect the people around, by not posing a risk. This will become very valuable in situations where there are high-risk family members – like the elderly, the unwell, pregnant women or women undergoing IVF.
STORAGE & SHELF LIFE:
The vaccine needs to be stored in a refrigerated facility, between 2-5 degree Celsius temperatures, which must be maintained at all times. It will remain potent for one month.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
The price will be fixed by the Government of India once it is launched. The AHLL group has assured that it will be affordable for all.
WHO CAN TAKE IT?
All people of all age groups. The vaccine can be safely administered to all. However, one needs to consult one’s doctor for high risk patients.
IS IT SAFE FOR COUPLES UNDERGOING ANY KIND OF INFERTILITY TREATMENT OR IVF?
Currently, the vaccines have been tested on people who have volunteered for the same. Since this group excludes the elderly with health issues, children, pregnant women or those undergoing fertility treatments or IVF, the research is not yet 100% conclusive.
This indicates that, for now, the given vaccine may or may not be completely suitable for all.
The available data points out that since each individual constitution is unique, the efficacy and side effects may vary mildly. However, since the overall outcomes are largely optimistic, the Government of India has green signaled the same.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS? Refer to mail sent to other verticals by Sumani
Side effects may include:
Slight soreness or pain where vaccinated
Headaches or mild flu-like symptoms_____.
These symptoms may last less than a week in most cases.
IS A VACCINE NECESSARY IF A PERSON HAS ALREADY TAKEN A FLU-VACCINE?
The flu vaccine is not an anti COVID vaccine. If someone has taken a flu vaccine quite recently (upto ___ days prior), they might have to wait for at least a week before this one.
SHOULD A PERSON GET VACCINATED IF THEY ARE UNWELL?
If a person is unwell and has any kind of fever, headaches, cough or cold they should self-isolate. In case they are already in home quarantine, waiting for test results, they should only get a vaccine only after they test negative. They must consult a doctor prior to taking the vaccine.
CAN A VACCINATED PERSON GIVE THE VIRUS TO ANYONE?
The vaccine reduces a person’s chances of catching the virus. However, there is no recorded information about whether a person might contract a mild or asymptomatic version of the same, despite getting vaccinated.
Therefore, it is imperative that people continue to follow the norms of social distancing, wearing masks and frequent handwashing.
It is still a long way to go, before things become relatively normal.
SHOULD CERTAIN PEOPLE AVOID TAKING A VACCINE?
In a large percentage of cases, vaccines are considered safe for all and can be given to people in the specified age group. However, if someone has severe allergies to certain components of the vaccine, they would have to wait until their doctors give them a go-ahead.
Similarly, pregnant women or those undergoing infertility treatments or IVF, will need to consult their gynaecologists and internal medicine specialists before getting vaccinated.
HAS IT BEEN TRIAL-TESTED? WHAT ARE THE RESULTS?
Yes, all the vaccines being developed are being trial-tested on a mixed group of people. Currently most pharmaceutical companies in India are in Phase 3 of testing.
However, the numbers are still small as compared to our population, and because each individual responds differently, conclusive results will only be shared just before the vaccines are ready to be rolled out.
Like with all vaccines, this one too should be taken under the advice of your family physician keeping in mind your health.
As the situation is still not fully under control, it is best to take all the steps that are in our control – Wear masks, keep social distancing, maintain hand hygiene and work on improving your immunity. In short – DON’T LOWER YOUR GUARD!