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Monday, April 05, 2021

Positive after vaccination - How does it work?

We all have been eagerly waiting to get the vaccine to end the mayhem created by the corona virus. We would all like to believe that vaccination is the only way to stop the disease from spreading. Is that completely true, though?


As per the experts, vaccination doesn't mean the end of the virus. Vaccination solely guards your body against the dangerous effects of the virus. The infection can occur at any time, vaccination just helps in warding off the serious issues that it might trigger. People who have been vaccinated also need to abide by all safety measures to prevent contracting the virus. These people can even transmit the virus to others.

What this means is that for a vaccination to declare that is works, all it has to do is to prevent you from getting a severe infection. It may not prevent you from actually getting the virus in the future, although there are ongoing studies to prove just that. 

In the next few months, Pfizer and Moderna are expected to release data that should indicate how often vaccinated people become infected by the virus, even if they have no symptoms. The companies have been testing participants in their vaccine trials for antibodies to a protein called N that is part of the corona virus but not part of the vaccine. Finding those antibodies would mean that a vaccinated person has been infected by the virus.




So what exactly did they study when the made the vaccine?

The Pfizer and Moderna trials tracked only how many vaccinated people became sick with Covid-19. The study essentially took 2 groups and put them into a placebo group and a vaccine group and studied the risk of people getting sick with the corona virus without actually studying if the vaccine would prevent the infection in the first place.

 

Having said that, the vaccine will offer some protection from getting the virus. The way it works is this. The vaccine provokes the immune system of the receiver to make antibodies against the virus. Once the antibodies are formed, the immune system is primed to attack anything that remotely resembles the corona virus so that if you do get exposed and the virus does enter your system, it should be attacked by the antibodies.

 

How does this differ from immunity obtained after being infected?

In most respiratory infections, including the new corona virus, the nose is the main port of entry. The virus rapidly multiplies there, jolting the immune system to produce a type of antibodies that are specific to mucosa, the moist tissue lining the nose, mouth, lungs and stomach. If the same person is exposed to the virus a second time, those antibodies, as well as immune cells that remember the virus, rapidly shut down the virus in the nose itself before it gets a chance to take hold elsewhere in the body.

 

Vaccinated people may still harbour the virus in their nose and throat and these people who may not develop any symptoms could possibly be transmitting the virus without ever knowing it. It would only depend on whether the virus can replicate faster, or the immune system can control it faster.

 

What are breakthrough cases?

Breakthrough cases are those cases that test positive even after receiving the vaccine and can be either symptomatic or asymptomatic. This might occur in those people whose bodies cannot produce a robust reaction to a vaccine. Breakthrough infections are generally mild and do not require hospitalizations. Some people may have no symptoms at all and may be discovered only through testing. Absence of symptoms actually means that the vaccine is doing exactly what it is supposed to do: prevent people from getting sick, even if it does not fully block the virus from infecting them. If vaccinated people become silent spreaders of the virus, they may keep it circulating in their communities, putting unvaccinated people at risk.

 

Why are vaccinated people are testing positive for the virus?

 

- They are not following the precautionary measures such as wearing masks in public, sanitizing hands, maintaining social distancing and ignoring the other safety protocols as advised by the health ministry

- Not following the after vaccination rules as told by the doctors (eg alcohol consumption, taking immunosuppressive drugs)

- Not getting the second dose on time or not getting the second dose at all

- Barrier in immunity (may not mount a good enough immune response)



As of now, the only way to be absolutely sure of not getting the infection is to continue to follow strict hygiene measures in terms of hand washing and sanitizing, respiratory hygiene including wearing a mask at all times when outside your safe zone or in presence of strangers, covering your mouth and nose when your cough or sneeze, not rubbing your eyes, nose or mouth under any circumstances. These measures have to continue until a larger segment of the population is vaccinated and the transmission chain can be effectively broken.






61 comments:

Aarti said...

Thank you so much... Clears a lot of rumours floating around. It's good to have this information from a trusted source. And must say... Brilliantly written as always.

Techknowdoc said...

Thanks for your comment Aarti and for always encouraging me to write more and write better!

Unknown said...

Thanks Dr ! So simply put , appreciate that you are always educating us with just the right information. It Clears all doubts . Thank you ,
I look forward to reading all your articles.

Unknown said...

Thank u so much excellent written great

paul said...

Thanks Dr .Many of my doubts are cleared. Good source of information when people like me are confused .

Unknown said...

Well written and explained.. clears a lot of doubts..thanks for the information..

Unknown said...

great information thank you dr.

Unknown said...

Thank you Dr Dheeraj. This clears all the doubts as to why people are getting infected even after vaccination. Very well written as usual.

Unknown said...

Thanks Doc
As always a very informative peice.

Drdj said...

As rightly said.. vaccination doesn't mean the end of the virus.
But Doc 3 questions..
1) What if due to unavailability the second dose can’t be received as per due date !? As I already know a few who are going for their second dose and the vaccines aren’t at stock currently.
2) if the first dose of vaccine is covieshield. And at the time of second dose due to unavailability of covieshield. Can one take an alternative vaccine (eg Covaxin / Astra) !??
3) You mentioned something about alcohol consumption after first dose. Is it not allowed in between 2 doses or also after the second dose !? πŸ™ˆ

And many many thanks on the above literature about the vaccine Do’s & Don’ts.
Best Regards. 😊

Ranj said...

Informative article. Hopefully will educate people who feel they are invincible after taking their doses.

Unknown said...

I m Pradeep Gidwani why is it that after people take the shot some people get reaction even to the extent of death and some people feel nothing I hv heard that people who don't feel n get any after effect der vaccine is null n void as it has not worked on them is it true????

Abbas said...

Extremely informative blog...information shared and suggestions made are well researched and to the point. Very helpful in these trying times

Unknown said...

For someone who has experienced a little in dealing with this virus, it is great to know the next step in a simple yet super informative breakdown. Thank you so much! Will pass it on further!

Anita Mulchandani said...

Dear Dheeraj,

Why are vaccinated people are testing positive for the virus?

Am i a breakthrough case as i had no antibodies when i was tested 12 days ago?
I took Covaxine on 27th March 2021.
Being comorbid i was always extra cautious, maintained all necessary protocol, met only the same 3-4 people , wore a mask washed hands with soap and water a hundred times.
9th April my first symptom was tasting excessive salt on my tongue.
From thereon i was downhill with fever severe body ache, followed by diarrhoea for almost 9 days.
Being over the worst now i must say i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy!!!!
Even doctors give different opinions from day to day, being lay people we really don't know what is right or wrong!!!!
Every person i know is testing positive, vaccinated or not vaccinated.
The fear psychosis being created by people especially building societies that are becoming like mini Hitlers has given me severe anxiety and i am under psychiatric treatment.
I request you to please address the mental issues that most patients face being isolated on testing positive by the rules which are imposed on them by society members under the guise of BMC PROTOCOL.
I do hope that you will address this in your next blog.

Unknown said...

Dear Doc, thanks for the article, really clears lots of doubt, keep the great work on, God bless
Vishal

Unknown said...

Thankyou Dr Dheeraj...it's a great article

Unknown said...

Dear Doc, thanks for the article, really clears lots of doubts, keep the great work on, God bless
Vishal

Arun Malkani said...

Thanks, very informative and addresses a number of questions and doubts in my mind. Adds depth to the basic understanding that one had.

AMK said...

Well explained in simple terms. Is it safe to believe news reports that state that even a single dose has 100% effectiveness in preventing serious covid?

Unknown said...

Comprehensive article. We definitely need to create this awareness, since there are a lot of misconceptions about this.

Indu Sangwan said...

Thank you for this outstanding piece of information! Look forward to more of such articles that help us clear our doubts and use the information accordingly.

Unknown said...

Thank you Dr very informative

Unknown said...

Beautifully explained Doc. Even a lamen will understand. Thank you

VM said...

Well written as usual

Nusrat Banatwala said...

Thank you Dr...very well written as usual!

Mohteshim Ahmed Khan said...

A very thoughtful, and lucid analysis. Looking ahead with a SOP in place.

Mohteshim Ahmed Khan said...

Very thoughtful, and a lucid analysis. Thanks Doc for clearing a lot of misconceptions, and erroneous ideas.

Puran Mulchandani said...

Great Write Up Dr, a very educative one . Keep up the Good Work.

Anonymous said...

Once vaccinated, since the immune system is primed to attack anything that remotely resembles the corona virus, would it also be able to prevent against other coronavirus's like the common cold?
Current vaccines do not give protection against several variants like the South African variant. According to you how long would one have to wait before taking a Vaccine of a different genre, like Moderna, or maybe even a Sputnik?
If both dozes Of CoviShield have been taken can a third dose be taken after 6 months?
Thanks, Firdaus.

Johann Daruwalla said...

Great article
Answers in simple terms many underlying questions we may have

Krish said...

Well written !
So , the vaccine isnt terminating the covid molecules or anything in any way and it's rather just serving its purpose by strengthening the immunity of an individual to any other common sickness that one can get?
Though I read some stuff on the gram which said by simply steaming daily, you're good to go even if you haven't got the vaccine!
Another video said, nobody yet knows how exactly to tackle and terminate covid, rather everyone is just trying their best to strengthen their immune system weather it be with home remedies or the vaccine. This way it's scary cause we're landing up in a never ending loop and there's no end to it!
Now that the government has opened up the vaccine for everyone above 18, the question I have is, if we follow the same precautions of washing our hands everytime we come home from outside, steam once or twice a day, sanitize our hands of we're outside, don't touch any part of the face unless our hands are washed, etc... Then is it yet necessary to take the vaccine in an urgency?? Or we can wait for a more efficient vaccine to come till then??

It's funny how the entire thing has turned into a survival game.

Krish said...

Well written !
So , the vaccine isnt terminating the covid molecules or anything in any way and it's rather just serving its purpose by strengthening the immunity of an individual to any other common sickness that one can get?
Though I read some stuff on the gram which said by simply steaming daily, you're good to go even if you haven't got the vaccine!
Another video said, nobody yet knows how exactly to tackle and terminate covid, rather everyone is just trying their best to strengthen their immune system weather it be with home remedies or the vaccine. This way it's scary cause we're landing up in a never ending loop and there's no end to it!
Now that the government has opened up the vaccine for everyone above 18, the question I have is, if we follow the same precautions of washing our hands everytime we come home from outside, steam once or twice a day, sanitize our hands of we're outside, don't touch any part of the face unless our hands are washed, etc... Then is it yet necessary to take the vaccine in an urgency?? Or we can wait for a more efficient vaccine to come till then??

It's funny how the entire thing has turned into a survival game.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much doctor. Ican get more information now about cronan virus.

Tasneem said...

Very well and simply explained Doc!
Gives lot of clarity in the current scenario

Munazza Siddiqui said...

Very well written doc!! Clears a lot of doubts.

Unknown said...

Yes Doctor Dheeraj got a clarity
All doubts are cleared
Thank you so much

Varun Vaswani said...

Very well explained Doc ! Thanks for keeping it factual and easy to understand.

Unknown said...

Thank you very much Dr.Dj.for good information.

Unknown said...

Excellent presentation dear Dheeraj.
Congrats to proud parents also. Chandru & Saju Thadani

Anonymous said...

Thank you doc for the informative document.Really helps and very nicely explained.Very educative!!

Noshir Daruwalla said...

Thanks my friend it’s a very informative and useful information for us as we are now fed up with the politics that is going on. Please keep us informed in case of further developments. God Bless Noshir

Noshir Daruwalla said...

Thanks my friend it’s a very informative and useful information for us as we are now fed up with the politics that is going on. Please keep us informed in case of further developments. God Bless Noshir

Nazak Katem said...

Doctor, thanks for this excellent informative blog. Just one thing, at the end you have mentioned that when all segment get vaccinated it will break the spread chain. However it contradicts to the earlier statement that even a vaccinated person can spread the virus.
Can you pls enlighten on this.

Unknown said...

Very well and simply explained on the pros and cons of the vaccination πŸ’‰ what I do appreciate the most is people should maintain social distancing and keep washing their hands at least for 20 seconds this is also recommended by the CDC. Well done πŸ‘ Regards, Dr.Satish Bhatia. Instagram.com/dermdestination

Unknown said...

Very well and simply explained about vaccinations πŸ’‰ what I also do appreciate is people should still maintain social distancing and wash their hands for at least 20 seconds.this is also recommended by the CDC Where currently I am in Atlanta.
Well done DheerajπŸ‘
Regards, Dr.Satish Bhatia. Instagram.com/dermdestination

Unknown said...

Very well written!

jaybee said...

Good information Doc. Just wanted to know if given a choice,one should go for Covishield or Covaxin?

Surendra Somani said...

Valuable information! Thanks!

Unknown said...

Very informative. Makes sense to me. Thank you.

Techknowdoc said...

But Doc 3 questions..
1) What if due to unavailability the second dose can’t be received as per due date !? As I already know a few who are going for their second dose and the vaccines aren’t at stock currently.

We are at the mercy of the system. Ideally it should be taken within 6-8 weeks but I would still take it whenever available next as the second dose mostly acts as a booster!

2) if the first dose of vaccine is covieshield. And at the time of second dose due to unavailability of covieshield. Can one take an alternative vaccine (eg Covaxin / Astra) !??

You cannot and should not mix and match vaccines. Stick with one brand please!

3) You mentioned something about alcohol consumption after first dose. Is it not allowed in between 2 doses or also after the second dose !? πŸ™ˆ

You should steer clear for 48 hours minimum. Leave the rest to the wise Old Monk!

Techknowdoc said...

I m Pradeep Gidwani why is it that after people take the shot some people get reaction even to the extent of death and some people feel nothing I hv heard that people who don't feel n get any after effect der vaccine is null n void as it has not worked on them is it true????

Everybody's reaction to the vaccine is individual as is everyone's reaction to getting infected with the virus. You cannot generalise. Also, there is no science behind the null and void statement and the vaccine working only if you get a side effect.

Techknowdoc said...

Why are vaccinated people are testing positive for the virus?
That's what I thought I answered in the blog!

Am i a breakthrough case as i had no antibodies when i was tested 12 days ago?
I took Covaxine on 27th March 2021.
Possible

I request you to please address the mental issues that most patients face being isolated on testing positive by the rules which are imposed on them by society members under the guise of BMC PROTOCOL.
There is a BMC healthcare helpline to deal with the stress of the situation as are many other volunteer groups!
I will try and write about it, although I am not an expert on this!

Techknowdoc said...

Once vaccinated, since the immune system is primed to attack anything that remotely resembles the corona virus, would it also be able to prevent against other coronavirus's like the common cold?

So, fundamentally, the common cold virus and the coronavirus are completely different families of viruses. So, no, the vaccine won't be preventive.

Current vaccines do not give protection against several variants like the South African variant. According to you how long would one have to wait before taking a Vaccine of a different genre, like Moderna, or maybe even a Sputnik?
It's on the cards with the govt approving imports of the vaccines from abroad. Also, the latest date from Covaxin and Covishield say that they are equally effective against the UK and SA strains as well.


If both dozes Of CoviShield have been taken can a third dose be taken after 6 months?

Third dose not required according to research as of now. Will have to wait for long term data to know how long antibodies will last!

Techknowdoc said...

So , the vaccine isnt terminating the covid molecules or anything in any way and it's rather just serving its purpose by strengthening the immunity of an individual to any other common sickness that one can get?

The vaccine isn't strengthening your immunity against other infections. It is merely making sure that if you do get Covid it won't be a serious infection.

Though I read some stuff on the gram which said by simply steaming daily, you're good to go even if you haven't got the vaccine!
Nope, untrue.

Now that the government has opened up the vaccine for everyone above 18, the question I have is, if we follow the same precautions of washing our hands everytime we come home from outside, steam once or twice a day, sanitize our hands of we're outside, don't touch any part of the face unless our hands are washed, etc... Then is it yet necessary to take the vaccine in an urgency?? Or we can wait for a more efficient vaccine to come till then??

The vaccine is at an efficiency rate of 80%. Don't think any more efficient vaccines are going to come. If you can guarantee that you will follow all protocols, then you can avoid the vaccine, but if you are heading out, there is always a risk of touching your nose, mouth or eyes by mistake and it's safer to get the vaccine!

It's funny how the entire thing has turned into a survival game.
It is a survival game!!

Techknowdoc said...

Just one thing, at the end you have mentioned that when all segment get vaccinated it will break the spread chain. However it contradicts to the earlier statement that even a vaccinated person can spread the virus.

So, even though the potential exists to get the infection and remain asymptomatic theorotically, we assume that if the vaccine works, the infection (if it occurs) would be one with a very low viral load so that infectiousness would be reduced. Also, in simple maths, if 80% are not going to get infection (assuming the vaccine is 80% efficacious), that reduces the spread of the virus by 80% which will eventually lead to us winning, just like in other pandemics and epidemics (similar to measles and chickenpox)

Techknowdoc said...

Just wanted to know if given a choice,one should go for Covishield or Covaxin?
Take what is available so you can be completely vaccinated at the earliest. Both have similar efficacy

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this information.It clears so many of my doubts. Also, the confusion regarding which one to take.
Yeah, you are right -- take whatever is available.

Ananya said...

Excellent and timely write-up, Dheeraj. Keep the insightful information rolling to fight those with vested interests in keeping COVID-19 alive in the world.

Unknown said...

Very well explained in absolute layman terms. Clears alot of myths too. The timing couldnt have been bettwr. Thanks for taking time out and writing this informative article.

Unknown said...

Thanks Deeraj well explained

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