Benefits of Covid-19 Vaccine
Covid-19 vaccines have been introduced to our shores in recent months and we are now seeing the first steps forward towards a full return to normal life. But can you be sure that your children will grow up as healthy, vaccinated adults? And how safe are these new vaccines when we have never had them before? Some benefits of vaccinations
1. No need for second dose
A second dose is necessary as it ensures maximum protection against infection, so people who receive their vaccine at least six weeks before their expected next delivery of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine should ask the healthcare provider about the time they can receive another dose. If you do not know what date you start getting your vaccine, please let the healthcare provider know as soon as possible. This might be different from the time of the original injection or the second half of the 21 days required by the Medicines Control Authority for health products. A person may get a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer/BioNTech) and one-dose vaccine(Moderna, Oxford BioNTech etc) or some combinations of both (Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccine). There is no advantage to scheduling a later delivery – just because you started getting the vaccine earlier does not mean you do not need a follow-up.
2. Protection against severe illness
Your immune system starts producing antibodies after the first jab. You begin to build an immune response after six or eight weeks and can protect you from becoming severely ill with Covid-19 during those first few weeks. Since the virus replicates inside the body, severe symptoms can occur within 12-24 hours of exposure. Your immunity becomes stronger after the second dose. The same is true for COVID-19 vaccines such as the Modern vaccine. They offer higher levels of protection than the Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccine.
3. Early protection
Vaccination prevents diseases and their transmission. When there are more people vaccinated, there is less disease and more cases are prevented. Those who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 are also protected themselves and avoid spreading the disease to others. More people will also survive and recover from a milder form of the disease due to a better understanding of the threat and how to treat it. It is important to remember that although we need to keep ourselves physically distanced, social distancing is not a substitute for following the rules and protecting yourself if you are sick.
4. Better long-term protection against non-vaccinated people
Another important benefit is the fact that some vaccines prevent future infections by targeting and neutralizing specific parts of the virus protein called spike proteins which allow entry into cells. These spikes are found on all known Covid-19 viruses and some of the other known coronaviruses. Therefore, those who have received their vaccine in a given area and have recovered from a previous infection can be vaccinated again to prevent future infections and protect yourself against future ones. However, many people are currently unvaccinated and will remain so for a number of years. To ensure everyone stays safe, it is essential to vaccinate as many vulnerable groups as possible.
5. Avoiding re-infection
Vaccinations can also reduce risk of reinfection in the short term, but it is still possible to become re-infected with Covid-19. Studies suggest that people who were previously infected with COVID-19 can spread the infection to other people and infect people who did not receive their vaccine initially. Getting infected while being vaccinated will help to decrease transmission and protects you from passing it on to others, therefore limiting the chances of catching the virus again. This is especially important for children younger than 10 years old with whom parents have the option to travel in order to spend time together.
6. Less serious symptoms
Vaccine may prevent mild colds and coughs that can last for a day or two. Symptoms that often develop for around 48 hours and go away without treatment can also be treated through vaccination. Symptoms that arise from allergic reactions usually disappear very quickly and are treated with over-the-counter allergy testing (both available in pharmacies). These symptoms are also more common among children than adults, so vaccinations are key to preventing this epidemic.
7. Ease of access to medical care
We all want the best possible health outcome, however, access to healthcare is complex and difficult. Hospitals are under pressure to provide good patient care, and hospitals have limited resources. In addition, government policies and regulations limit doctors’ access to technology and information, making it more difficult to provide accurate medical advice. Our healthcare professionals are working hard to ensure quality care is delivered regardless of your background. With the vaccination rollout, you are able to access medical services as easily as possible through teleconsultations as well as consultations at local clinics.
8. Protect yourselves
It is vital to realize that you are unlikely to catch Covid-19 for most of your life, but it is important to know how and when to take precautions – especially if you have young kids or are older and become immunocompromised. You need to consider why you need to be vaccinated in the first place. Is it to protect you from Covid-19? Do you want to protect members of your family? Or are you worried about your health? All these reasons can motivate you to be vaccinated when it is offered to you. We have a duty to care for ourselves. We live in troubling times, and we cannot afford to wait for something that is safe and works! Get vaccinated!
Side effects of Covid-19 vaccine
Some Covid-19 vaccines have given me headaches, fever, muscle pains and nausea. Although my headaches disappeared within 24 hours and I do not experience any pain, I have had to take Tylenol, paracetamol and ibuprofen on an hourly basis as needed. As precautionary measures against allergies, I stopped using mouthwash immediately after receiving my vaccination. My fatigue has become worse and my breathing much slower. My husband, who suffers from asthma, is currently having similar side effects, but he does not think I need to worry about his symptoms being worse after the initial vaccination. Due to a high level of anxiety and stress about the pandemic, there could be a delayed immune response. People with existing health issues, including children, may be at greater risk of developing “long covid-19” (which means your condition lasts longer than intended) after vaccination.