Know all about Vaccines for Covid-19
Covid-19 has been spreading through the world since 2019. As we enter into 2021 amidst the pandemic, the Coronavirus spread is still on the rise. One of the important tools to control and eventually stop the pandemic is Vaccines.
Vaccines are now available
The Coronavirus is still quite new, however, looking at the rate of infections, the research for vaccines began in 2020. The whole world has been waiting for a long to get the Vaccines for Covid-19 and finally, they are here.
Currently, two vaccines are approved by the FDA and are available. Other vaccines might soon be available, too. The available vaccines are:
1. Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine (Ages 16 and above)
2. Moderna Vaccine (Ages 18 and above)
Please note that the vaccines are available at no cost.
How does the Covid-19 Vaccine work?
The main objective of the vaccine is to help our immune system to fight the Coronavirus infection. Whether the vaccine can also help us to spread the virus to others is not yet confirmed. However, it is being studied.
The currently available vaccines are administered in a series of two doses. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is administered in doses 21 days apart. The Moderna vaccine is administered in doses 28 days apart. Typically, a few weeks after the final dose, the vaccine takes effect.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have an efficacy of 94% to 95%.
The one question that is on the mind of people is whether the Covid Vaccine is safe. The US Food and Drug Administration has issued Emergency Use Authorization for two Covid-19 vaccines. These vaccines have been tested and evaluated and the FDA has deemed them safe for use.
A group of experts and community representatives are entrusted with the responsibility to ensure a fair distribution of the vaccines. Phase 1A of the vaccines has already begun in the state of California. The vaccines are being allocated as they become available. To ensure a fair distribution, the vaccines are given in order of priority.
- Effective April 15th, all persons 16 and older in California are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for those 16 & 17 years old. For those who are 16 or 17, it will be important when making an appointment to select a location where the Pfizer vaccine is offered. Persons under the age of 18 will need to have parental consent to receive their vaccination.
The vaccines are not yet available for children and adolescents under 16. Studies are currently underway to assess the safety and effectiveness in this age group, and we look forward to the results in the coming months.
Who should get the vaccine?
Typically, everyone needs to get the Covid vaccine in order to protect themselves from infection. Even if you have been infected by the virus before, you still need to get the vaccine.
While the Covid vaccine is not mandatory, it is recommended that everybody take the vaccine for their own protection as well as for the protection of those around them. The vaccine is safe even for pregnant women and lactating mothers.
Who should NOT take the Covid Vaccine?
Currently, due to the lack of adequate studies, the children are not recommended the Covid Vaccine. Clinical trials are in progress to test the safety of the vaccines for children.
Please Note: People who have known allergies to vaccines or injections, should check with their doctor before taking the vaccine. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients of the Covid vaccine, you should check with a doctor. Also, if you develop any allergies after the first dose, medical advice should be taken before the second dose.
Side-effects of the Vaccine
The vaccines have been approved by the FDA and are as safe as possible. However, there could be side-effects that are similar to flu symptoms.
Side-effects include soreness in the arms, fatigue, body ache, mild fever, etc. These symptoms are not harmful and are an indication that the immune system is gearing up to provide protection from Covid-19. The symptoms usually go away on their own.
Care to be taken after taking the Vaccine
To reduce discomfort in the area where you get the shot, apply a wet washcloth. Maintain regular arm movement. In case you have a fever after the dose, drink plenty of fluids.
Please Note: Getting vaccinated will provide you immunity from the Coronavirus infection. However, you can still spread the virus to others. Hence, you will need to adhere to all the guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes wearing a mask in public, washing hands, and maintaining social distancing.
When do you need medical intervention?
You need medical intervention in the below cases:
1. If the area where you get the shot becomes increases in redness or tenderness after 24 hours.
2. If the side-effects are severe and do not go away in a few days on their own.