Is an Indian doctor’s diary and advice on the side effects of the Covaxin vaccine genuine?
Take a look at the viral post on Covaxin side effects, and what the FACTS really are!
Doctor’s Diary On Covaxin Side Effects : A Viral Sensation
An Indian doctor’s diary on the Covaxin vaccine’s side effects, and his advice on how to deal with them, has gone viral on social media…
What’s amazing is that it’s gone viral even in countries where the Covaxin vaccine, is not, and will likely never be available!
Fact Check Of Doctor’s Diary On Covaxin Side Effects
There’s no way to tell if the viral diary was actually written by a doctor, since it’s unsigned and not attributed to anyone. So we cannot verify his/her account.
However, we can fact-check a few interesting points, claims and advice in that viral account. Let’s see what the FACTS really are…
Fact #1 : India Uses The Metric System
Interestingly, the writer recorded his/her body temperature in Fahrenheit, instead of Celsius.
Like the vast majority of the world, India uses the metric system, and an actual Indian doctor would use Celsius.
Fahrenheit is only used in the United States, Belize, Palau, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands – none of which has the Covaxin vaccine.
Fact #2 : The Writer Use Terms Doctors Generally Won’t
Generally, doctors will not use terms like vaccination site, temperature started rising, warmness in eyes, rise in blood pressure, or mini-Covid symptoms.
The proper terms, which normal people would have understood, would have been injection site, fever, hypertension or increased blood pressure, or COVID-like symptoms.
Fact #3 : How High Was Their Blood Pressure?
The writer claimed that his/her medical colleagues reported “rise in blood pressure”, without stating how much higher.
This is important, because a significant increase in blood pressure is defined as an increase in systolic blood pressure of greater than 20 mm Hg, or an increase in diastolic blood pressure of greater than 10 mm Hg.
If the writer is an actual doctor, and his colleagues only reported slightly elevated blood pressure, he/she should have written it off as irrelevant, or normal physiological variances.
Blood pressure can also temporarily increase for all sorts of perfectly normal reasons – smoking, caffeinated drinks, anxiety, or even mild exertion before the reading was taken.
A single elevated BP reading is not indicative of the blood pressure actually being high. In fact, blood pressure readings are only accurate if you follow these rules :
- you did not drink a caffeinated beverage or smoke in the last 30 minutes.
- you did not rest (sit quietly) for at least 5 minutes
- you are seated with your arm rested, so that your elbow is about heart level
- you did not talk during the measurement
- there is a difference of less than 5 mm Hg between two readings taken consecutively.
Fact #4 : Dizziness During Injection
Dizziness during injection is not a side effect of the Covaxin vaccine, because it’s in the process of being injected into the body, and thus have no effect yet.
People with vasovagal syncope will feel dizzy or faint when exposed to certain triggers like pain, emotional stress, fear of needles or even just the sight of blood.
So it is not surprising if some people feel dizzy or faint after getting an injection, whether it’s of a COVID-19 vaccine or a placebo.
Fact #5 : Some Side Effects Are A Good Sign
The known Covaxin vaccine side effects include :
- injection site pain, swelling, redness, itching
- stiffness and weakness of the injection arm
- body ache, headache
- fever, malaise, weakness
- rashes, nausea, vomiting
While side effects like allergic reaction, rashes and vomiting are obviously not good, other side effects are a good sign.
Vaccine “side effects” like fever and muscle ache are actually a sign that the vaccine is working, and your body’s immune system is kicking into action.
Remember – COVID-19 vaccines like Covaxin basically use the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus or its spike protein to train your body’s immune system to fight against the real virus.
So you should at least expect some symptoms of a real COVID-19 infection, as the body works to fight off the “fake infection” that the vaccine just delivered.
Fact #6 : Hydrate With Water, Period
Hydration is simple – drink water. It really doesn’t matter if it’s cold, hot, warm, lukewarm, or room temperature.
There is also no fixed rule on how much water to drink a day. It very much depends on the individual’s life and environment.
Someone who is physically exerting himself in a dry climate would naturally require more hydration than a rich socialite chilling out in the sauna.
Fact #7 : Hydration Has No Effect On Vaccines
Any doctor worth his/her salt would know that body maintains its biological equilibrium through homeostasis.
So additional hydration after vaccination will not have any effect. You will just piss it out.
Fact #8 : Perfume Isn’t Bad For Vaccination
This needs some context. It’s not wrong to smell nice when you meet people.
Some health authorities are advising people to avoid wearing scented products like perfume or cologne, as other people waiting for their vaccinations may be allergic to them.
Fact #8 : Alcohol Rub / Swab Is Fine
WHO recommends against swabbing the skin with alcohol before injecting the vaccine, consider it an unnecessary waste of time and money. So don’t be worried if the nurse or doctor skips this step.
However, there is nothing wrong if you let the nurse or doctor swab your skin with alcohol before injecting the vaccine.
No one swabs the skin with alcohol after an injection, so we have no idea why the writer would ask you to refrain from doing so.
Fact #9 : Alcohol Consumption Before / After Vaccination Is Fine
There is no evidence that alcohol consumption has any effect on any COVID-19 vaccine, so there is no rule against consuming alcohol before or after vaccination.
But it would be make sense not to drink alcohol before driving to the vaccination centre – which is both unsafe, and against the law.
Fact #10 : Hypertension Is Not A Side Effect
So far, no COVID-19 vaccine (Covaxin or otherwise) has listed hypertension – high blood pressure – as a side effect. So there is no need to monitor your blood pressure after vaccination.
If you already have hypertension, then you should monitor your blood pressure regularly… as you normally would.
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