COVID 19 vaccine: see what your DENTIST wants to tell you

While there is LIFE there is HOPE


Health is and should always be one of the most integral aspect in one’s life that includes not only physical fitness but also our mental fitness and the surrounding environment. Going back to the history, we as human beings had suffered pandemics at least once in a century and presently going through one of the most devastating pandemics that human population had experienced so far. The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic was one of the most catastrophic event in human history. Though we claim our progress and advancements in the field of Astrosciences and other fields, well equipped healthcare facilities with best treatment modalities, still a tiny particle with a few nanometer in size has shaken even the powerful nations of the world, arises a concern.

In general, viruses are the borderline of living and dead with size ranging from 18-400nm.  As they do not grow on routine laboratory culture media, hence specific laboratory diagnosis of such tiny particles becomes tough. Moreover, they are host cell dependent, i.e., they will grow and replicate only in the cells of other living beings. Mutations in the viral genome is a matter of concern for the scientific community as well.

COVID (coronavirus virus disease)19 was declared pandemic by World Health Organization in March, 2020. Since then, the major institutes, vaccine industry and scientific community had worked day and night to come out with a vaccine that can save the world. A common consensus to attain the herd immunity made everyone to develop a safe and effective vaccine as soon as they can. Presently, few of the vaccines have been granted emergency permissions including COVAXIN and COVISHIELD in India to fight against this deadly RNA virus. ASTRA-ZENECA had been given approval for its use in UK. Also PFIZER- BioNTech (BNT162b2) and MODERNA (mRNA1273) had been approved for their use.

But, adverse drug reactions or side effects as are related with many other medications and pharmacological combinations, vaccines are no spare. By and large, the benefits and the lives that it saves outweigh the risks associated with it. But, belonging to medical fraternity, it stands our duty to get to know about the reactions a patient can have after having a dose of vaccination. Health professionals including dentists should be well versed and prepared for the drug related orofacial complications, if any.

Studies done show that the side effect due to injectable vaccine is rare have been seen only in 1 in 1000 individuals. Low grade fever, headache, chills, tiredness, nausea, muscle ache or soreness of muscle including pain, redness and swelling at the site of injection on arm are common side effects of vaccine. Some individuals also showed signs of facial swelling or swelling associated with lips and tongue. Also, temporary one sided drooping of face had been manifested in some people who had been injected with vaccine. Facial swelling was mostly manifested in people who had any past history of using dermatological fillers that are used for face uplifting, removal of scars and other cosmetic purpose. Also, Bell’s palsy, i.e., paralysis of one side of the face is also to be seen in few of the individuals who had been vaccinated. Some other anaphylactic or allergic reactions including redness of face or mouth is also to be seen in few of the cases with due dose of vaccine. More and more studies on different ethnicity with a voluminous sample size is required to further validate these findings.

An acute availability of vaccines to millions of people in a short span of time is only next to impossible. So, as citizens it is our duty to protect ourselves and others by at least following the COVID protocols that include the preventive measures like:

  1. Staying at home and no unnecessary visits to public places
  2. Always use a facemask covering nose and completely, whenever in public places
  3. Maintain at least a distance of 6 feet with others
  4. While sneezing, cover the nose and mouth either with flexed elbow or with a tissue paper or handkerchief
  5. Washing the hands at regular intervals for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or using alcohol-based sanitizer
  6. Avoid touching eyes, mouth or nose without washing or sanitizing the hands
  7. Frequent disinfection of the most used surfaces like table tops, door knobs etc.

The extent of damage that a tiny particle (Coronavirus) can do totally depend on our behavior, the way we treat it. If we do not follow personal and social behavioral discipline mended for COVID19, we will be giving an open invitation for the virus to attack us. To get vaccinated, is our duty not only towards ourselves or our family, but also towards our society, country and globe as well. The reactions our body shows in different ways only prove that the body is developing protection or immune wall against the virus. If any side effect persists or aggravates for more than 24 hours, we should visit our doctor to discuss the problem and have a proper guidance on the use of over the counter medicines. Also, try to drink plenty of water and take rest after the shot of vaccine. We should take a pledge to spread a positive message and inspire each other to get a jab of vaccine at the earliest.

Let us save ourselves and the planet


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