With new year around the corner, one thing that everyone is looking forward to is THE COVID-19 VACCINE. A few things have been found about the effects of these vaccines.
Today US has started giving Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to its citizens.
So, let us answer a few questions which the studies have found out and also some questions which are swirling in our mind!
HOW IS THE COVID-19 VACCINE EFFICACY CHECKED?
After a vaccine is delivered to an individual, antibodies are checked regularly in his/her blood samples. The presence of anti-bodes indicate that the vaccine is effective. This is checked in various groups of individual in a step by step manner.
How vaccines are made? This will discussed here soon. SUBSCRIBE! to get updates.
HOW LONG DOES THE EFFECT OF VACCINE LAST?
In an interview with one of the chief scientific officer for PFIZER, he told they were not sure about how long does the immunity produced by these vaccines last!
In their clinical trials they observed the anti-bodies for 2 months. And that they will be observing the subjects for 2 years for the same.
Answers to this questions will be answered as the time goes by and as more people get the vaccines.
Talking about the COVID IMMUNITY, the immunity we gain after getting covid infection lasts not more then 2 or 3 months and if your are very lucky it may lasts till 4 months.
Hence it is highly advisable to continue social distancing and face mask even after vaccination.
COVID-19 VACCINE EFFECTS IN OLD AND CHILDREN?
In the clinical studies conducted to understand the effectiveness of vaccines, the study population included was people more than 16 year old and people less than 65 old.
Pfizer vaccines (overall efficacy 95%) have showed that vaccine was less effective in people older than 65 year (efficacy 86%)
However, talking about the side effects, less is known if there will be any severe side effects in older aged population or not.
COVID-19 VACCINE EFFECT IN PREGNANT FEMALES?
As discussed above, the study conducted to find the vaccine efficacy, healthy humans betweeen 16 to 65 were included.
NO PREGNANT FEMALES were given the vaccine in those trials.
So it is not known if pregnant females will have different side effects or if the vaccine will affect their child or not!
GETTING VACCINATED WILL NOT BE JUST A ONE TIME THING!!
You will be required to get booster vaccines as well. This will be declared according to the guidelines by the type and company of vaccine. Booster doses of vaccine are required to keep the level of immunity high for long time.
PFIZER and MODERNA both use a 2 dose regimen. PFIZER and MODERNA both use m-RNA based approach for vaccine development. PFIZER vaccine needs a 2nd dose after 21 days and MODERNA vaccines need a 2nd dose after 28 days.
The vaccines which are suspected to be started the earliest in INDIA – COVAXIN AND ZYDUS CADILLA work on a completely different mechanism as compared to PFIZER and MODERNA.
COVAXIN uses inactivated virus as vaccine and ZYDUS CADILLA uses plasmid DNA as vaccine. So weather these vaccines require booster doses or not is yet to be declared.
Apart from the mechanisms discussed above, there are other mechanisms to develop vaccine too. Hence you need to follow the schedule according to those indicated in their details.
CAN YOU GET COVID-19 VACCINES FROM 2 DIFFERENT BRANDS?
As discussed above, each company choses different mechanisms to for vaccine. Hence if you get vaccinated using vaccine of a particular company, you must get the following doses of the same company.
COVID-19 VACCINE SIDE EFFECTS
Side effects are a part and parcel of any drug or vaccine.
Some of the usual side effects of vaccine generally include-
- pain and tenderness at the side of injection
- low grade fever within 24 hours of injection
- allergic reactions to some component of vaccine
- muscle pain
Well, not everyone suffers from these symptoms. Infact, some experts consider these symptoms a good sign as these indicate that our immune cells are fighting. In the inteview, he also notes that these reactions can be more in younger populations and less in older populations.
If someone is extra sensitive to vaccines, they are advised to be caution and consult their doctor before taking vaccines.
CDC advises people suffering from polyethylene glycol allergy to not get vaccine administered.
It is advised to staff to observe the vaccine recipient for 15 to 30 mins after he/she has recieved the vaccine. This is to ensure that if any acute side effects are seen, they can be treated quickly.
During the clinical trials, few cases were reported, where the subject had BELLS PALSY.
This was found in studies of both Pfizer and moderna. But no direct relation has yet been established so far indicating that vbells palsy was caused as a side effect of vaccine. The subjects who had bells palsy also suffered from other conditions.
WILL A COVID-19 VACCINE OF ‘US’ BE EFFECTIVE IN ‘INDIA’?
Vaccines are a form of virus (a part of it or inactivated form) and covid virus has been continuously changing. Luckily, these changes have never been so severe to cause a major problem in the treatment or other related measures.
A vaccine produced in 1 country may or may not be that much effective against the virus of 2nd country.
This is the reason why US bases vaccines like PFIZER and MODERNA need to go clinical trials again in INDIA before being sold commersially.
This is also the reason, why vaccine efficacy on the new virus type seen in UK has been doubtful.
That’s all for this topic !!