As we live in the midst of a pandemic, health has become the number one priority for us all. The Ministry of Health has urged the public to take preventative measures to help prevent coronavirus infection. Besides wearing facial masks and practicing social distancing, the government has encouraged the general public to get vaccinated against Covid-19. With over 90% of the Malaysian adult population fully vaccinated, we have observed a reduction in hospitalization rate and mortality rate due to the virus. The World Health Organization has been constantly researching and providing updates regarding the questions surrounding the Covid-19 immunization. One of the most frequently asked questions is ‘how long do we need to wait to get a non-covid vaccine?’ Read on to find out.
How long do I need to wait to get a non-Covid-19 vaccine?
As we know, the Covid-19 vaccine is recommended for all adults and more recently for teenagers. The only exception made for receiving this vaccine is if you have a history of severe allergic reactions to medications or if you are ill with an acute condition. Otherwise, you are advised to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Regarding how long you have to wait to get a non-covid vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in their guideline state that it is safe to receive routine vaccines at the same time as the Covid-19 vaccine. However, it is advisable to receive the injections in two different areas at least an inch apart. For example, if you are receiving the Covid-19 vaccine on your right arm, the non-covid vaccine should be injected an inch away from the initial injection or into the left arm. Furthermore, they also mentioned that studies have suggested that vaccine interactions rarely occur. Previously, it was recommended that those receiving non-covid vaccines are advised to wait for at least two weeks after receiving the Covid-19 vaccines as it can help health practitioners to monitor the side effects of the individual vaccine. According to Dr. Hank Bernstein from the Vaccine Education Centre of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the theoretical concerns of getting more than one vaccine at a time is minimal compared to the benefits of protection against diseases after getting vaccinated. He further explained that people who wait for some time to get another vaccine have a higher chance of missing their appointment, which leads to an increased risk for those preventable diseases. In Malaysia however, the Ministry of Health recommends waiting for at least 2 weeks to receive a non-covid vaccine. But exceptions can be made under certain conditions such as those who are behind on their immunization schedule and those who are at high risk. For example, if you are pregnant and need to get a tetanus shot, you might not have to wait 2 weeks to get it.
Bottom line is, you do not have to wait till you complete the covid vaccination to receive your routine vaccines. You should always keep up to date with your routine vaccinations to help protect you against preventable diseases. Speak to your doctor to schedule an appointment if you have missed your previous vaccine appointment. If you have more questions regarding the Covid-19 or any other vaccines, please speak to a professional for advice. With a lot of misconceptions and myths going around about vaccines, many are opting out of receiving vaccines. This can be detrimental as you are not only putting yourself in danger but also those around you who might not be able to take the vaccine. Keep yourself and your loved ones protected from this virus by getting vaccinated today.