Thanks to the pandemic, we have all become well informed in terms like vaccines, efficacy, side effects and viruses. So let’s start today’s post with a brief on what a vaccine is. Vaccine is basically a preparation that provides active acquired immunity from infectious diseases. I found this really cool image on the WHO website that explains why we need vaccines.
When you are vaccinated your immune system develops resistance so it can fight against disease.
Now let’s discuss how can we be sure that a vaccine is safe
Vaccines go through a careful testing phase and even once they have been approved and administered to the general population, their effects and problems are monitored. This is the reason we have had some COVID vaccines in the news where their production/administration has been halted due to problems.
Some people still have some misconceptions that “we don’t need to vaccinate against diseases.”
Let me tell you, please don’t fall into these false notions. Vaccines are critical for us if we wish to fight this pandemic and come on the other side. So if you come under the right age group, please get yourself, or your loved ones vaccinated at the earliest.
What about side effects?
After getting vaccinated many people notice pain or swelling where they got the vaccine. You may also get fever, fatigue, headaches and some other symptoms. This happens because your body is learning to fight. Since ever body is different, every body reacts differently to the jab. Some have no side effects; some have mild and some severe. In case your symptoms persist, you should consult your doctor.
Having side effects or not having side effects does not impact if the vaccine is working. If you have received a vaccine, it will work, irrespective of the kind of side effects you have.
COVID vaccines in India
One of the major developments our country has had in this pandemic situation has been the availability of COVID vaccines. You must have heard of the two vaccines Covishield and Covaxin that are available. But recently, India’s regulatory body approved a third vaccine – Sputnik V.
To give you a quick lowdown, Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine which means it has dead coronaviruses which make it safe to be injected in the body. It has an efficacy rate of 81%.
Covishield on the other hand is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus which is known as an adenovirus. The effectiveness of this vaccine is 90%.
Unlike other similar vaccines that are based on the adenoviral vector platform, Sputnik V uses slightly different versions of the vaccine for the first and second dose. The idea behind the 2 different formulas is the hope that it’ll give longer-lasting protection. It uses a combination of two different adenoviruses. So, this vaccine effectively enables the human body to safely recognize the threat and generate antibodies to prevent from the viruses. Its efficacy is 97.6%.
Well, as you can see, not only are COVID vaccines safe, they’re also an important tool in our kit to help us fight the pandemic. While masks and social distancing still need to be followed, a vaccine jab may save your life.
So get your facts, consult your doctor in case you have any lingering doubts, and get vaccinated as soon as you can.