The importance of the Coronavirus vaccine
Immunization is a simple, safe, and effective way to protect against diseases. It pushes the body to resist certain infections and strengthen the immune system by training the immune system to form antibodies.
Due to the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), which has a high rate of infection and has affected the whole world, the importance of this vaccine lies in protecting against this infectious disease by allowing the body to safely develop an immune response that prevents or controls the infection and helps us gradually return to normal life.
How do vaccines work?
Vaccines increase resistance to the virus and reduce the effects of the disease by working with the body’s natural defenses for protection. When vaccination is given, the immune system responds by:
- Recognizing the virus as soon as it enters the body;
- Producing antibodies (proteins that the immune system naturally produces to fight disease);
- Remembering the disease and how to fight it.
The vaccine is a safe and smart way to protect ourselves. Once the body takes one or more doses of the vaccine, it produces an immune response without being fully exposed to the disease, so instead of treating the disease after its contracted, the vaccine will prevent the disease in the first place.
Why should I get vaccinated?
There are two main reasons for receiving the vaccine are to:
- Protect ourselves
- Protect those around us
Without vaccines, we are exposed and at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 infection, which can be life-threatening.
First Phase target population
The target group of the first phase of vaccinations are:
- Health practitioners
- Security forces
- People 65 and over
- Essential workers
- People who are obese and have a BMI of more than 40
- Those who have an immunodeficiency, such as organ transplant recipients, or who are taking immunosuppressive drugs
- Those who have two or more of the following chronic diseases: asthma, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic heart disease including coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and those with a history of strokes
Second Phase target population
The target group of the second phase of vaccinations are:
- People 50 and over
- Those who have one of the following chronic diseases: asthma, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic heart disease including coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, active cancer, and those with a BMI of between 30-40
Third Phase target population
The third phase of vaccinations will be open to all of the public.
How safe and effective is the vaccine?
This vaccine is considered safe. Due to the effective passage of the vaccine’s testing stages, strong immune response and persistent antibodies, the side effects of the vaccine are usually minor and temporary (such as: injection site infection, mild fever or headache).
Any licensed vaccine is rigorously tested through multiple trials before it is approved for use, and is regularly re-evaluated. Scientists also constantly monitor information from several sources for any sign that the vaccine may pose health risks.
Always remember that it is better to prevent a disease than to treat it after it has been contracted.
Does this vaccine have any side effect?
Common side effects associated with the vaccine are mild symptoms that do not go beyond pain at the site of the injection, redness, and may also be accompanied by a slight rise in temperature.
Common side effects
- Feeling tired and headaches
- Pain at the injection site
- Muscle pain and overall malaise
- High temperature and body tremors
How to relieve symptoms
- Paracetamol can relieve headaches, muscle pain, high temperature, and fatigue
- Cold compresses on the injection site can reduce pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, if present
Watch for side effects and if you experience any stronger symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.
Tips before vaccination
- If you feel unwell, or experience any other symptoms, visit your physician to determine whether you are fit to receive the vaccine in your current condition
- Inform your physician of your medical history in detail and whether you suffer from any chronic disease (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or asthma) and the treatment plan you are currently receiving
- Inform physicians about any allergic reaction you may have that may have occurred with previous vaccines
How the vaccine is administered
The vaccine is injected into the muscle, and requires two doses given 3 weeks apart.
Post vaccination care
- Monitor the emergence of any side effects and record them as soon as they appear for a period of 7 days upon receiving the vaccine
- Monitor the patient for any illness or other health issues for 3 weeks after receiving the vaccine
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle and avoid anxiety and stress to enhance immunity, such as eating healthy food, drinking enough fluids, the most important of which is water, and getting enough sleep