Vaccines For COVID-19 Ι What COVID Vaccine You Should Get? Loaded Health
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Vaccines For COVID-19 Ι What COVID Vaccine You Should Get?

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It might be confusing to hear new names of drugs and vaccines for COVID-19 every day. In the text below is the genuine data about the existence of vaccines for COVID-19. How they work, and how many of these are approved and effective in the prevention of the disease.

The Vaccine & Its Mechanism

WHAT IS A VACCINE

A vaccine is an injection or a pill used to prepare the body against fighting the infection. In other words, you can say that they serve as a coach for your immune system. As they will train your immune cells to fight the infection by creating antibodies.

Similarly, if you are exposed to any disease it will also work as a vaccine to your body against that disease or infection.

Vaccines are safe to get. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), there are almost 20 different vaccinations available against different diseases and saving the lives of 3 million people each year.

MECHANISM OF A VACCINE

Vaccines work on decreasing the risks of getting an infection in the first place and also enhance and prepare your body’s immune system or a defense mechanism to create protection and fight even if you get infected by the disease. 

When a vaccine is inserted in your body, your immune system reacts to it by:

  • Identifies the infected cell such as bacteria or virus.
  • Produces antibodies against that virus or bacteria. These antibodies are naturally produced proteins by the immune system to resist infection.
  • Once this is done your body will remember the disease and the mechanism to fight it. So, in case you again encounter the same infection your defense mechanism will protect you by killing the infection before you get critical.

This is the nature of our defense mechanism or immune systems to remember the enemies they already fought with. Once you get the infection or get a vaccine normally you will be protected for a long time, and sometimes a lifetime.

What Are The Vaccines For COVID-19

As listed by the Center for Disease and Control (CDC). There are some types of COVID-19 vaccination approved in the U.S and others are in ongoing phases 3 trials. But here I am not talking only about U.S and CDC, instead what’s occurring globally.

By phase 3 trials means before the vaccine is approved by FDA (Food and Drug Authority) it went into trials. Phase 3 trial is the last in them and this trial is done on almost 3000 people who are currently having COVID-19. It may take years to complete. 

Globally there are different vaccines for COVID-19 available and also being used on 1000s of people. The main reason for that was the unavailability of enough vaccines. But are all vaccines effective enough? Well, I will discuss that in detail.

TYPES OF COVID-19 VACCINES

There are total 4 varieties of COVID-19 vaccines that are as follows:

Protein Subunit Vaccines

Include harmless pieces or proteins from the COVID-19 virus rather than the entire infection. After vaccination, the body’s defense mechanism recognizes that the piece or protein of the virus doesn’t belong to our body and begins making antibodies and T-lymphocytes against it. 

EXAMPLES:
  • Novavax
  • EpiVac Corona
  • RBD Dimer

mRNA Vaccines 

This type consists of mRNA from the COVID-19 virus that will give instructions to our cells for making a harmless protein that will be unique to the virus. After copies of the protein have been made. The genetics of the virus from the vaccine will be destroyed. This destruction will occur through building B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes. 

EXAMPLES:
  • Pfizer
  • Moderna

Viral Vector Vaccines 

Vector vaccines contain a weakened form of a virus. This is a different form than the one that causes infection. The genetic makeup from the virus that causes COVID-19 is inserted in that virus making a viral vector. After getting vaccinated instructions will be given to make a protein that is unique to the COVID-19 virus. This allows our immune system to make B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes.

EXAMPLES:
  • AstraZeneca
  • Sputnik V
  • Johnson’s & Johnson’s
  • CanSino
  • PakVac

Inactivated Whole Virus Vaccines 

In inactivated whole virus vaccines the genetic material has been destroyed so the virus can’t replicate but still can boost immunity. So, the side effects will be lesser than the live attenuated vaccines so as the immune response.

EXAMPLES:
  • Sinovac
  • Sinopharm
  • Covaxin
  • CoronaVac

How Many Doses Of Vaccines For COVID-19 Needed?

There are 2 types of dosing strategies of vaccines for COVID-19. The one that contains one shot of jab and others that required two doses of the jab.

What COVID-19 Vaccine You Should Get?

At present many vaccines for COVID-19 are approved & it is difficult to get the decision sometimes. I have seen people around me still thinking about which vaccine for COVID-19 to get. 

In my country Pakistan usually, vaccines served by the government are not available privately. Moreover, people don’t really have a choice about which vaccine for COVID-19 to get. 

I will discuss vaccines that are being used all over the world and discuss minute details about them.

RNA VACCINES

1. Pfizer-BioNTech

  • The country of origin is the USA.
  • It should be taken in 2 shots with 21 days in between.
  • Anyone above the age of 12 years can get a shot.
  • This vaccine is said to be 95% effective against fighting COVID-19.

2. Moderna

  • The country of origin is the USA.
  • It should be taken in 2 shots with 28 days in between.
  • This vaccine is said to be 94.1% effective against fighting COVID-19.

PROTEIN-BASED VACCINES

1. Novavax

  • The country of origin is the USA.
  • It should be taken in 2 shots with 21 days in between.
  • This vaccine is said to be 89.3% effective against fighting COVID-19.

INACTIVATED WHOLE VIRUS VACCINES

1. Sinopharm

  • The country of origin is China.
  • It should be taken in 2 shots with 21-28 days in between.
  • This vaccine is said to be 79% effective against fighting COVID-19.

2. Sinovac

  • The country of origin is China.
  • It should be taken in 2 shots with 21-28 days in between.
  • This vaccine is said to be 51% against COVID-19 and 100% against severe cases and hospitalization.

3. Covaxin

  • Country of origin India.
  • It is said to be effective against COVID-19 and should be taken in 2 shots 28 days in between.
  • This vaccine is said to be 78% effective against fighting COVID-19 & a 100% reduction in serious COVID.

VIRAL VECTOR VACCINES

1. CanSino/Convidecia

  • The country of origin is China. 
  • It is taken as a single-shot vaccine.
  • Old age people and immunocompromised adults are the best candidates for getting CanSino.
  • This vaccine is said to be 65.7% effective against fighting COVID-19 & 91% effective in the prevention of complications.

2. AstraZeneca/Oxford

  • The country of origin is the UK. 
  • It should be taken in 2 shots with 8-12 weeks in between.
  • The vaccine is not recommended in females below 40 years of age and older adults due to potential side effects.
  • Some of the cases, especially females below 40 years, show blood clots known as Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome leading to severe medical emergencies. 
  • This vaccine is said to be 63.09% effective against fighting COVID-19.

3. Sputnik V

  • The country of origin is Russia.
  • It should be taken in 2 shots with 28 days in between.
  • This vaccine is said to be 92% effective against fighting COVID-19.

4. Johnsons & Johnsons/Janssen

  • The country of origin is Israel. 
  • It is a one-shot vaccine.
  • It does have some side effects including fever, tiredness, chills, headaches, pain, and swelling at the injection site. Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome also tends to occur in 7 young females in 1 million.
  • This vaccine is said to be 66.3% effective against fighting moderate COVID-19 and 85.4% against severe COVID.

5. PakVac

  • The country of origin will be Pakistan.
  • It will be available soon for the use of the public.
  • PakVac will be made from the concentrate of the CanSino vaccine from China. 
  • It will be a single-dose vaccine.
  • This vaccine-like CanSino will be 65.7% effective against fighting COVID-19 & 91% effective in the prevention of complications.
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Note: The information provided is based on the data provided by the CDC, WHO, FDA, and NCIRD. This might change in the coming dates. Follow the official pages linked for updates on vaccines for COVID-19.

Common Points of COVID Vaccines

  • Vaccines do have some side effects including fever, tiredness, chills, headaches, pain, and swelling at the injection site.
  • All above vaccines are given intramuscularly mostly in the upper arm.
  • Anyone above the age of 18 years can get a shot. Some approved for 16 years and Pfizer approved for 12 years and above.
  • Everyone who is not allergic does not have any common allergies, or a history of allergies from general vaccines are eligible for getting a COVID shot. 

IMPORTANT POINTS ABOUT COVID-19 Vaccine

Should You Get A Vaccine Shot If You Already Had COVID?

YES, even if you had a COVID infection recently get yourself vaccinated. You can get your shot 2-4 weeks after the infection. Doing this will boost your immunity against COVID to the next level. However, some studies suggest that once infected with COVID, the immunity will remain active for 3 months or 90 days. Before that, there will be no use for you to get a vaccine. 

Should You Stop Taking All Precautions If You Have Got Vaccinated?

NO, not at all. Even if you are vaccinated there is a chance for reinfection. Indeed, the reinfection might not be as severe as it will occur in the unvaccinated individuals but still, the majority of the vaccines are in phase 3 trials and the efficacy varies from 65%-95% and are not 100% protective.

There is a chance of getting severe COVID-19 5-35%. So, no matter what, taking precautionary measures is still number one on the list to fight COVID. 

On the other hand, if you have milder symptoms or no symptoms and you might be having an infection. Try to take precautionary measures not for you but for the sake of your loved ones. As they might not have as much strong immunity as you do. 

Furthermore, there is no vaccine designed for children below 12 years to date. Your social negligence might result in making them sick.

Who Should Be Vaccinated First?

  • Frontliners and health care workers.
  • All adults are about 18 years old. 
  • Patients with co-morbid like diabetes, hypertension, heart issues extra.
  • Pregnant ladies.
  • Lactating mothers.

Who Should Not Get A Vaccine?

You should wait for your vaccination if:

  • Fever at the time of vaccination. Schedule later on.
  • Active COVID infection. Get your vaccine after the isolation period or after being stable.
  • People on immunosuppressive medications. Wait for 28 days once the dose ends.
  • People had undergone recent transplantation. Wait for 3 months post-transplantation to get the vaccine.
  • Children and neonates. Pfizer is approved for 12 years and above but most vaccines are for 16 years and above.

FAQs

CAN YOU GET COVID IF FULLY VACCINATED?

Yes, you can get COVID even if you are fully vaccinated. Please check out the above text for details.

IT IS SAFE TO GET THE COVID VACCINE?

Yes, it is completely safe to get yourself vaccinated. It will be a wise decision if you get yourself vaccinated instead of getting sick from the infection.

HOW EFFECTIVE ARE COVID VACCINES?

COVID vaccines vary their effectiveness somewhere from 65% to 95% effective in preventing mild disease and decreasing complications.

HOW LONG DOES THE COVID VACCINE GIVE YOU IMMUNITY?

The answer to this question is still not known. Loaded health will update you if there are any new recommendations.

WHY DO PEOPLE GET SIDE EFFECTS AFTER COVID-19 VACCINES?

Side effects like fever, fatigue, body aches, lethargy, cough, headaches, redness, and pain at injection sites are common not only for COVID vaccines but general vaccines too. This is a normal response of the body towards vaccines. It shows that your immune system is building immunity against the virus.

DO I STILL NEED TO WEAR A MASK AFTER GETTING THE COVID VACCINE?

Yes, Wearing masks, covering your sneeze and cough, social distancing, washing hands are the cornerstone steps for COVID protection regardless of the vaccine.

DO I NEED A COVID BOOSTER SHOT?

The answer to this question is still not clear. But you might need to get the booster shot in the future. Some vaccines such as flu shots require a booster every year. On the other hand, the measles vaccine offers lifelong immunity. Let’s see what COVID brings.

Wrapping It Up

COVID-19 is still a new virus creating a lot of pressure on health authorities. Research is going on 24/7 to still find the cure and protection that lasts. But the pressure can be released to more than 60% if you are a responsible civilian, get your COVID vaccine as soon as possible. 

Rumors also spread recently about the statement that All vaccinated people will die within two years. Don’t put yourself in controversies. The vaccine is a must.

mask

Several vaccines for COVID-19 are in the trial so are the drugs. But to date, no 100% prevention and treatment have been declared. Wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands are still the topmost prevention even if you are vaccinated. 

I hope my COVID-19 series is helping you in clearing some of your doubts. Comment below and feel free to ask anything you have in mind. 

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Also Read Nutrition, Exercise, Supplements, the new strain of COVID-19.

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Dr. Riffat Humayun

I am a doctor by profession. Working as healthcare worker since 2015. With that also working as an experienced freelance writer, blogger, SEO expert, and content creator + strategist for a few years now. Position at loadedhealth.com - Author, content strategist, senior editor, SEO expert

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