I am Dr S P Mathew, practising as a Consultant Physician in General Medicine in Mumbai, India since the past 25 years.
There has been a huge increase in the number of cases of Corona once again at the time of writing this.
Since March 2021, I am seeing quite a few people who get RT PCR/Rapid antigen-positive symptomatic Corona after taking one or even two doses of the IM Vaccination against Corona.
Even more troubling for me is the many cases I am seeing who get breathlessness, fever, and decreasing Oxygen saturation a few days after taking the first or even second dose of the intra musclular COVID vaccine being administered currently.
Their RT PCR test is not done yet or the report is awaited. There is a huge Diagnostic Capacity over load for the RT PCR test, once you book it often takes 3 to 5 days to have someone come over to take the swab. So, many people are unable to test, and hence definitely there is under reporting of actual number of active cases. The HRCT Chest done for these patients shows featured typical of COVID. The patients have to then hunt for a bed in a COVID facility, even though they are not officially positive.
A few of the vaccinated ones, especially Healthcare workers, who were among the first to get vaccinated in early 2021, developed Corona symptoms with RT PCR and Rapid Antigen positive. They have got good levels of S1/S2 antibodies in their blood when tested. And yet they became ill.
Here is an example of a Doctor, who took the Covishield vaccine as follows:
1st dose 20th Jan 2021
2nd dose 11th March 2021.
Rapid Antigen positive on 2nd April 2021. He had fever with minimal weakness. All routine fever workup tests were negative. We tested him for protective S1/S2 antibodies.
As you can see, even after taking two vaccines and having good antibody levels, he became symptomatically ill and had to be quarantined for 14 days.
The good thing is that he had a mild illness and could be managed at home with basic medications. Ofcourse he could not go to work, and a Radiologist is also a daily wage earner like millions of others.
We repeated his antibody levels after eight days of natural infection.
As you can see the natural Corona infection that he got pushed up his antibody levels to more than 400.
Surprisingly, I have yet to see a single patient who got Corona naturally in the past. and then gets symptomatic and RT PCR positive Corona again.
This led me to ask a few basic questions: There are literally millions who have already got Corona in the last one year in India itself. Why are no cases of confirmed reinfection reported yet in those who caught Corona naturally? Why have I not seen a single case so far here in Mumbai?
Is it because natural Corona infection somehow confers better protection than the vaccine? Does the natural Corona infection give you better local upper respiratory tract humoral immunity?
I am definitely not advocating that you should preferably get Corona naturally. An infection with the Corona virus can be fatal especially in the high risk populations.
How then do we develop immunity against Corona in the best way possible?
I feel that a nasal vaccine that mimics the natural Corona infection may give you better local and systemic immunity than the present intra muscular vaccine.
Much research is on going on this very important next advance in COVID vaccines., which you can find out by clicking here to open a new tab
As of now, it could be selection bias that as a Doctor I am seeing so many cases who are presenting after taking the intra muscular vaccine.
My recommendation is to consult a specialist before going for the vaccine to make sure that you are safe from the potential side effects, especially if you belong to the high risk groups that have been shown to have a higher potential for side effects.
You can click here to open a new page that will explain more about the latest regarding COVID vaccines, from the WHO.
Another important precaution to take if you are going to get vaccinated is to avoid crowded centres, ensure physical distancing and hand hygeine very strictly.
Also please remember that our bodies and immune systems are designed to work best when the mind and spirit are at peace, the Shalom concept that is vital to good health.
So my plea to you is that you would also set aside time daily to connect with your Creator who has designed you in a most wonderful way, and rest in that relationship of love, acceptance and joy. In that you will get wisdom beyond and above what you get from the world around you.
2 thoughts on “COVID and Vaccination: A Physician’s experience”
Good insights, thanks doctor.
Yes, no need of panic, but more daily prayers and the required focus on health care will bring us out of this period in a better way.