June 2, 2023

How soon and how frequent should one have a medical checkup after SARS-CoV-2 viral infection?
There are no set rules or guidelines yet and medical follow-up depends on factors like the severity of the infection, preexisting disease, complications, and need for hospitalization.
Most patients with mild acute infection recover quickly and would not need frequent follow up unless new, persistent, or progressive symptoms develop.
Patients with more severe illness have a long recovery; about two to three months or longer, and would need early and frequent follow-up, especially those who needed hospitalization and an intensive care unit (ICU) confinement.
What is the best vaccine if you are eligible for vaccination?
It is still the first one that is available in your locality. It is better to get the first available vaccine and start developing protective antibodies than wait for the so-called better or best vaccine that may not reach your area in time.
The vaccines were not studied against each other directly or head-to-head. The differences in the reported efficacy from the phase 3 trials could be related to differences in the populations studied, the country or location where the studies were done, the timing of the trials during the pandemic, and the design of the studies.
Even after completing the prescribed dose of a vaccine, a person may still get infected with the coronavirus so a vaccine recipient should continue to observe the basic measures of viral transmission prevention – physical distancing and wearing a face mask and shield whenever and wherever necessary.
Several of the Covid-19 vaccines have been shown to prevent symptomatic disease but there is increasing data that mRNA vaccines may also reduce asymptomatic infection. Prevention of asymptomatic infection can reduce community transmission.
The duration of protection, potential need for additional doses of vaccine, effectiveness of vaccines in subpopulations not included in the initial clinical trials, and the effect of vaccination on transmission of the virus in a community are still being studied.
The use of monoclonal antibodies (Bamlanivimab and Casirivimab-imdevimab) is being studied in randomized controlled trials to assess their efficacy and safety in preventing Covid-19. Clinical studies are also still being done to assess other drugs.
Once safety and efficacy are established, the drugs will be included in clinical practice guidelines that will be followed by physicians. In clinical practice, doctors observe the guidelines which are formulated based on the principles of evidence-based medicine.
These guidelines are discussed and reviewed by medical experts, cascaded to medical societies, and then issued to physicians.
While one might be tempted to deviate from the guidelines, one basic principle has to be observed: “Primum non nocere” (First, do no harm).