There are many who are still unsure whether to take the COVID-19 vaccine or not. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, a host of misinformation and fear has surrounded the topic. It is of utmost importance to know the correct information from the right source in order to follow correct protocols and to stay safe. An awareness program by Dr. Pavithra Venkatagopalan a Microbiologist and a Coronavirologist is one such opportunity to demystify the facts about Covid 19.

Dr. Pavithra Venkatagopalan is a microbiologist and a coronavirologist by training and a lab director at Care Health Diagnostic Lab by profession. She holds a Ph.D. in coronavirus studies from Arizona State University. Her Interviews busting misconceptions and highlighting preventive measures about Covid 19 have become popular on various social media platforms.

Get to know all your COVID questions answered and myths debunked by someone who holds a Ph.D. in coronavirus studies.

The questions have been divided into 3 parts 

  • Precautions
  • Infection Period 
  • Vaccination 

Dr. Pavithra says that Coronavirus was discovered in the 1960’s and for every species of the animal there is one Coronavirus that infects it.

Precautions: To do or not to do?

Is fruit & vegetable cleaning still required?

The chance of the virus infecting you through an object is 1000 times less than it infecting you directly through droplets. So normal washing of fruits & vegetables is sufficient. Nothing else is required.

How careful should one be while touching elevator buttons?

Your fingertips touch your face up to 60 times an hour, so one should be careful while touching lift buttons as there are chances that one may get infected. Just use your elbows or knuckles. 

Make sure you use a mask that covers your nose and mask . Double masking adds and extra security cover 

Do gargling, steaming, and kada help?

No, they don’t help prevent or cure Covid. They can help ease the congestion at times only.

Is it safe to order food?

Absolutely, the chance of transmission of the virus is very low. Just remove the outer packaging and wash your hands before eating.

When asked is it safe for lactating mothers can take the vaccine, Dr. Pavithra says that her kid was 4 months old when she took the shot. A Covid+ve is allowed to breastfeed so why not a vaccinated mother.

Is it ok to go for a walk in the condominium with very few people round ?

Yes, as long as you keep a safe distance( 10ft gap minimum), wear a mask (double if possible) and do not chat with people around 

Infection Period 

Can a family that is Covid +ve but with different symptoms stay together during the recovery period?

Yes. They can all quarantine together. Make sure to clean all the surfaces properly, and wash clothes in warm water if possible.

Is it necessary to get the house cleaned /sanitized post-recovery 

Not required as the virus  is fragile and cannot survive without moisture and on surfaces . 

What is the contagious period of the virus and is it safe to meet the person after that?

14 days is the average period. It may be less or more for some. The best is not to meet anyone now! Offer help if required, but from a distance and following all the Covid protocols.

What if the person still tests +ve after 14 days 

At times, this happens and some people carry the virus longe but they may not be spreaders. It best to stay isolated for another 10 days.

Does Black Fungus all Covid patients?

Black fungus is caused by fungal spores that are all around us. Covid patients that are on oxygen also take in some humidity that is ideal for the fungus to grow. When you are exposed to it for a long time the fungus finds a direct path into your body, also since your immunity is low and your lung& nasal tissues are damaged it is easier for the fungus to attack. Also if you are diabetic as your immunity is already low.

Your blood group does not play a role in your ability to fall sick with COVID 


You may also read :Pregnancy & Delivery in COVID Times: Your Questions Answered



How soon can one take the vaccine after recovering from Covid? 

As per the guidelines not before 3 months and no additional test is required before taking the same 

Which vaccine is better Covaxin or Covishield?

Both are good, just book the slot for whichever vaccine is available.

Can I get COVID because of the vaccine?

No, Covid can happen after the vaccination but not because of it. The vaccine comes into full effect 2 weeks after the 2nd dose. The first dose will give you some protection after 4 weeks.

You may get Covid after the vaccination and not from it if your immunity has not developed or you do not follow the protocols 

Why are the side effects of the vaccine different for different people? If I don’t experience any side effects does it mean that the vaccine is not effective or immunity is high ? 

Each person reacts to each vaccine differently, just like babies.The same is the case with the covid vaccine 

Children getting affected in the third wave is being talked about? Is it true 

The way younger people have got affected in the second wave, children will get affected as they don’t have a vaccine yet for the kids. So it is very important for the adults in the family to get vaccinated so that the kids in the family are safe 

Can I start meeting people after my 2nd vaccine ?

It’s advisable not to meet and stay indoors. But if you have to, then meet in open /outdoor spaces

Is it ok to take the first dose of one vaccine and the second dose of another ?

No, there are clear guidelines and reasons to take both the dose of the same vaccine 

Can preganant women get vaccinated?

As of now, none of the vaccines in India have been approved for pregnant women. So one has to be careful 


To eliminate fear, get checked -if you have covid symptoms , if you suspect developing black fungus post covid 

Do click the link below to view the entire session and get answers & advice to more queries asked by our viewers