Coronavirus Vaccine: Top 7 Things You Should Know
Coronavirus Vaccine: Top 7 Things You Should Know
Almost in the same period when the new strain of the coronavirus was detected in the UK, large Covid-19 vaccine firms received approval to dispense the first batch of vaccines in the UK and the USA.
Since the start of the pandemic, Covid-19 vaccines have been deemed to play a major role in overcoming the pandemic. After several trial phases and a year of waiting, multiple vaccine producers have been approved to distribute the vaccines in over 9 countries as reported by Bloomberg.com at the time of writing.
Although this gives a ray of hope for the pandemic’s end, several people still question its effectiveness in combatting Covid-19.
Will a Covid-19 vaccine really protect you from getting coronavirus?
In light of this concern, we’re going to discuss the top 7 things you should know about the coronavirus vaccines.
1. How Does The Coronavirus Vaccine Work?
To fully understand how a Coronavirus vaccine works, we first have to know how the human body fight viruses.
When a foreign element invades our body, in this case, a virus, it usually attacks and produces more when it attaches to a host. This attack then becomes an infection.
When an infection happens, the body’s immune system uses 3 types of white blood cells to fight it.
- T-lymphocytes – are defensive white blood cells that attack infected cells in the body. These are also called memory cells.
- B-lymphocytes – are also defensive white blood cells. These white blood cells attack the remaining parts of the virus that are not killed by the macrophages.
- Macrophages – these are white blood cells that consume germs, dying, and dead cells. However, they leave behind some germs which are called antigens. These antigens are identified by the immune system so antibodies are produced to kill them.
When a person is infected with the coronavirus for the first time, it will take up to weeks to produce these germs fighting white blood cells.
After the infection, the immune system memorizes what it did to protect and fight the infection. It keeps some of the T-lymphocytes to counter the virus when detected in the body again. B-lymphocytes produce antibodies again to counter the returning virus.
So how does the coronavirus vaccine work?
The coronavirus vaccine helps the body to establish immunity from the attacking virus. Although not all vaccines work the same way, each of them leaves a supply of T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes so the body will remember how to fight the virus when detected again.
But again, it will take several days up to a few weeks for the body to produce these virus-killing white blood cells. This means you can still contract the virus right before or a few days after getting vaccinated since the body didn’t have enough time to produce protecting cells.
Since the vaccine cannot automatically fight Covid-19 right after being administered, you still have to practice the basic precautions of wearing protective equipment like facemasks and face shields as well as practicing hand hygiene regularly.
2. 3 Benefits Of Getting Vaccinated Against The Coronavirus
- A Covid-19 vaccine will prevent you from contracting the virus.
Before released to the public, Covid-19 vaccines undergo rigorous testing and trials to ensure their effectiveness in fighting the virus. It doesn’t just offer protection for you, but the people around you.
Also, after approval from various vaccine authorities, experts continue to monitor and conduct more studies to figure out how they can further improve the vaccine.
- The Covid-19 vaccine offers a safer solution in protection-building.
The Coronavirus vaccine helps create an antibody response that will help prevent you from getting sick from the virus without contracting it in the first place.
- Covid-19 vaccination will help stop the current pandemic.
Wearing facemasks and face shields will lessen your chances of getting exposed to the virus. In the unfortunate instance, you do get exposed, the vaccine will help fight the attacking virus in your body.
These 2 measures offer the best protection against the Coronavirus.
3. Is The Covid-19 Vaccine Safe?
Yes, the Covid-19 vaccine is safe to inject given you get vaccinated with the approved vaccine developers. As for the USA, the Food and Drug Administration has arranged for rigorous standards before approving any Covid-19 vaccine.
It’s not unusual to be concerned whether the Covid-19 vaccine is safe or not. To help you determine if it is, here’s is the process a vaccine goes through before getting injected into you.
- Pre-clinical analysis - this period involves trying out the vaccine in animals.
- Phase 1- the vaccine is given to a small number of people to observe its effects.
- Phase 2 – the vaccine is administered to 100s of people to further determine its effectiveness and side effects.
- Phase 3 – the vaccine is administered to 1000s of people to provide further findings on its effectiveness.
- Regulatory board reviews vaccine for approval – regulatory boards will analyze the findings to verify if the vaccine produces is ready for manufacturing.
- Manufacturing - when approved, vaccine firms can start producing the vaccines in big bulks to be distributed.
Before a vaccine gets jabbed at you, it’s been tried and tested rigorously to ensure your safety when given the shot and ensure effectiveness in fighting against the disease.
4. Why Was The Covid-19 Vaccine Developed So Fast?
Historyofvaccines.org states it can take 10-15 years to develop a vaccine since it involves a long process. But why was the Covid-19 vaccine developed in just under a year?
Various vaccine firms were able to develop Covid-19 vaccines fast because of the years of data gathered from preceding diseases like MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
With previous research done on related disease, vaccine creators are not working on a blank slate, they have previous research to turn to.
These prior researches were coupled with advancing technology that allowed faster manufacturing of vaccines and governments willing to invest in its development. The funding has allowed several tests to run at the same time, which in turn helped in determining what vaccine elements worked best.
5. Covid-19 Vaccine Progress
As of the time of writing, Bloomberg.com reports over 4.4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in nine countries. In the USA alone, vaccinations started on December 14, 2020.
Among the first group of people given the jab were health-care workers. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has tallied 1.94 million doses administered across the states.
6. Is Getting The Covid-19 Vaccine Mandatory?
US President Joe Biden doesn’t impose the vaccination among Americans, even among schoolchildren. The FDA has only approved Pfizer and BioNTech to be given to 16-year-olds and above. Moderna Inc. on the other hand was is to be cleared to be administered to children as young as 12 years old.
As for employers, they are given the liberty to require their workforce to take the Covid-19 vaccine. However, those who have disabilities covered by the Americans and Disabilities Act can request a vaccine exemption.
7. How Can You Combat The Virus While Waiting For The Vaccine?
While widely distributed, some countries still have to wait until 2022 to get their vaccine doses. And as mentioned earlier, people can also opt to not take the vaccine. This suggests although the Covid-19 vaccines have become widely available, you can’t expect everyone to take advantage of them.
How can you ensure your safety in this case?
Preventive measures like wearing protective equipment and regular hand hygiene are still invaluable.
Wearing facemasks reduces the risk of getting the virus while in contact with other people you aren’t sure are vaccinated or not. Other than protective equipment, regular hand hygiene will ensure you keep your hands coronavirus-free.
More importantly, if you’re a business owner, making sure your workforce is constantly conscious of their hand hygiene establishes a safer workplace which results in better productivity. It also keeps health-related costs to a minimum, in turn, more income for your business.
As simple as providing a touch-free hand sanitizer dispenser in a high-traffic area in your workplace will encourage employees and clients to practice hand hygiene with the convenience it brings.
When everybody practices hand hygiene, the virus won’t be able to thrive in your hands, substantially lessening the risk of catching the Coronavirus.
Whether the vaccines are already available or not, hand hygiene will remain to be the major prevention against Covid-19.