Can one get first dose of Covishield, second from Covaxin? Expert answers

The vaccine would be completely effective only if both doses are taken. Image courtesy: ffikretow/Shutterstock

As the country is gripped by the more severe second wave of the Covid 19 pandemic, vaccination for those above 18 years would begin from May 1 onwards. The government aims to vaccinate more than half of the population against the deadly virus. However, people have been having lots of doubts about the vaccines and its dosage ever since the vaccination process began in the country. The most prominent among them is whether a person could take one dose of Covishield and another dose of Covaxin. Though it has been announced that those above 18 years will be vaccinated from May 1 onwards, a clear picture about the vaccine distribution hasn’t been released yet. Besides, vaccines would now be available in the open market. Meanwhile, the free vaccination at the government health centers would continue. Many are doubtful about the distribution of vaccines from first week of May. Besides, people need to have clarity about the precautions that they need to take even after getting vaccinated. Dr. A Althaf, Associate Professor of Community Medicine, at Manjeri Medical College and the pandemic control cell convener of the IMA, has answered the readers’ questions through the help desk.

Will you get infected even after getting vaccinated?

Yes, you could. However, the intensity of the infection has been observed as milder in those who have been vaccinated. In India, studies are being conducted about this. As per the data provided by the Centers for Disease Control in the United States, around 99.99% among the vaccinated population has not shown signs of re infection.

Which is the best vaccine – Covishield or Covaxin?

Research has been done on both these vaccines and they have found to be effective against the virus. It is important to receive one of these and lower the infection and mortality rate.

Can heart patients and those who have undergone bypass surgery receive vaccine?

Yes, they can.

What are the side effects of Covid vaccines?

Fever, cold, body ache and fatigue are the common symptoms. You could take a regular Paracetamol tablet and these symptoms would be gone in 2 – 3 days. There won’t be any major side effects. There might be redness on the skin at the vaccination site.

Can you take one dose of Covishield and another dose of Covaxin?

No, both doses have to be the same vaccine.

Can people with history of allergies receive vaccine?

It is best to consult your doctor before getting the shot. There are different types of allergies. If you have had allergic reactions in the past, it is better to get vaccinated at your nearest hospital. They could give the necessary treatment in case an allergic reaction occurs.

Can people who are on thyroid medication get vaccinated?


Can a person take the second dose of vaccine from India after receiving the first dose, that is equivalent to Covishield, from abroad?

Yes, only if the same vaccine is available here.

Should one undergo any tests before getting the vaccine shot?

No test is necessary; not just in India but anywhere in the world. However, if you show symptoms, get tested for Covid before getting vaccinated.

Is the vaccine effective if no side effects are seen?

Yes, it is effective

Should one take the second dose at the same place where the first shot was taken?

No, it could be taken at any place.

Can diabetic and heart patients and people with high blood pressure receive Covid vaccine?

Yes, they can. These co morbidities have higher risk. So, such patients must strictly take the vaccine.

Is there any difference in the contents of the first and second doses of vaccine?


What if one gets infected before receiving the second dose of vaccine?

Take the second dose 1 – 2 weeks after recovery. In case, you get infected before taking the first dose, get vaccinated at least 28 days after fully recovery.

In case someone gets Covid after taking the first dose of vaccine, can he/she get the second dose after recovery or take two doses again?

Only the second dose needs to be taken.

Can the antibodies generated by the Covid vaccine give immunity against other diseases too?

No, it is specific to this disease only. It wouldn’t keep away other diseases. That is why children are given multiple vaccines for different diseases.

Will the natural antibodies in the body get destroyed after getting vaccinated?

No. Vaccine will only add new antibodies. The natural antibodies would continue to exist in the body. No harm would be done to the immune system.

Is it alright if the second dose of vaccine is delayed?

No problem. You could get the second dose at a convenient time. However, it is better to take it within 4, 6 or 8 weeks after the first dose. But, make sure to get the second dose.

What happens if the second dose is not taken?

The vaccine would be completely effective only if both the doses are taken. First dose alone wouldn’t give maximum protection.

Can someone who has recovered from Covid avoid getting vaccinated?

No, the antibodies wouldn’t remain in the body for too long. So, it is necessary to take the vaccine.

Can cancer survivors get vaccine?

Yes. Patients with any previous illness can take vaccine.

Can pregnant women and nursing mothers take vaccine?

Nothing has been mentioned about it in the latest regulations.

Can those on non – allopathic medication take the vaccine?


Is it common to have leg pain after receiving the vaccine?

Consult a doctor as leg pain could be because of various reasons. 

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