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Natural immunity or Covid-19 vaccination – what’s your pick to be safe during the pandemic?

Published on:19 October 2021, 18:09pm IST
Bollywood celebrity Pooja Bedi, who has chosen to stay unvaccinated against Covid-19, recently shared on Instagram that she has tested positive for the virus.
Geetika Sachdev
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covid-19 vaccine
Vaccination is critical in the fight against Covid-19. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

With the vaccination drive in full swing, the number of Covid-19 cases has reduced in India. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have to be cautious! It is still imperative to follow all the safety protocols and be masked. While some people are a little ‘relieved’ after getting both shots of the vaccine, some, like Bollywood celebrity Pooja Bedi, have chosen not to get vaccinated and instead rely on natural immunity. 

The 51-year-old recently tested positive for Covid-19 and revealed through an Instagram post that she believes in letting her immunity run its course. 

“I have finally been diagnosed as Covid positive. I chose/choose to stay unvaccinated as it’s my personal decision to allow my own natural immunity and alternative healing and wellness practices to accelerate my healing. You do what’s right for you. Each to their own. Caution. not panic,” shared Bedi.

She also revealed in the video that she has been having a power-packed kadha that has 17 herbs and doing steam inhalation. Bedi has also been having sugarcane juice for energy. She believes maybe it is her body’s way of asking her to slow down since she has been working long hours over the past few days. 

There are many like her, who still do not believe in getting vaccinated against Covid-19. But is that the right thing to do?

vacGet vaccinated, stay protected! Image courtesy: ShutterstockDr Rohini Kelkar, Senior Consultant, Clinical Microbiologist and Specialist, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, breaks it down for HealthShots. 

Why is it important to get vaccinated?

“Whenever you take any vaccine, the vaccine is nothing but a foreign protein. In Covid-19, we are using the spike protein of the virus. It’s important to understand that SARSCoV 2 is a different virus altogether. We are in the process of learning details about the virus. This is the first time in history that we have used a vaccine in a pandemic, “ shares Dr Kelkar. 

According to her, the first dose of the vaccine primes the immune response, which means it tells your body that there is something foreign that is being injected. 

“The primary immune response of the body is slow to build up, and it isn’t very strong. The levels of antibodies then start to rise,” she added.

The antibody levels start rising and then come down, after a few weeks and months. But what remains with the body are the memory cells.  

“There are cells that process this foreign protein, and then they remember. They remain within the immune system. The secondary response is much stronger and very rapid, so you get a peak in the antibodies, after the second exposure to the foreign protein,” explained Dr Kelkar. 

Is it necessary to get both shots?

There are some people who believe that getting one shot is enough, but is that the right approach? 

Dr Kelkar answers, “We know two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will give you better immunity. We don’t know if one dose is not going to give you adequate levels of protective antibodies, but two doses are certainly better. It is essential to get both the doses of the vaccine.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by POOJA BEDI (@poojabediofficial)

The last word

Covid-19 cases might have gone down, but that doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. It is essential to follow a healthy lifestyle to build your immunity. 

“Healthy diet, exercise (it stimulates the brain and releases endorphins), hydration, sleep, and stress control are all important. If we follow these five aspects, it helps to boost immunity. Your lifestyle really matters,” concludes Dr Kelkar. 

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.