Is It Safe To Have a Corona Virus Vaccine?
Corona vaccines are now out for distribution to millions of people in the US. Despite this positive development in the fight against Covid19, many are still hesitant to get the vaccines. The common question is – Is it safe to have a coronavirus vaccine? Like any other vaccine, there are pros and cons to this.
In any decisions you make, it is imperative to have adequate knowledge to analyze which one outweighs the risks. Here are a few things to consider when getting this type of vaccine:
1. Who are the manufacturers?
Two drug manufacturers Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna have now received approval from the FDA. Both of them are expected to have EUA (emergency use approval) from the CDC and be used for vaccination this week.
Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts was founded in 2010.
Pfizer that presently has New York headquarters was founded in 1849.
Both Moderna and Pfizer were tested to have 94.5% - 95% effectivity. It is not however known how safe it is for ages younger than 18 years for Moderna which was tested among more than 30,000 trial participants. Pfizer, on the other hand, can be used for 16 years and older. It was tested among 20,000 participants in the clinical trial.
Further to this, clinical trials have been conducted under rigorous standards before the FDA and CDC issues authority for use. And after authority for use, there are many layers of strict monitoring to ensure the safety of the vaccines.
3. Type of Material
Both Pfizer and Moderna uses mRNA for their therapeutics. MRNA (Messenger ribonucleic acid) was first discovered in 1961 at Caltech. It has been called the software of life.
Unlike other vaccines, which involve injecting dead viral remnants into the body, mRNA uses a live modified virus that sends a set of instructions into cells that teaches the body to make its own antibodies like proteins and triggers them to fight off disease. Specifically, it uses a small piece of SARSCov2 virus mRNA that instructs the cells in the body to make spike protein. After a person receives this vaccine, the body produces copies of spike protein that does not cause the illness but reacts to fight or have an autoimmune response against the virus.
4. Manner of Administration
Moderna’s vaccine will be given in two doses one month apart.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine vaccination series will also be administered in 2 doses 3 weeks apart.
5. Manner of Transport
Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna can be transported in a normal refrigerator and will remain stable in that environment (36° to 46°F) for 30 days. This should allow for easier transport to smaller clinics and rural areas. The question is how safe it is when transported to warmer and farther places or countries.
Pfizer, on the other hand, has various storage options to allow for equitable access to the vaccine to areas with differing infrastructure.
The most commonly reported side effects, which typically lasted several days, were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever.
As of this writing, there are reports of severe allergic reactions to the vaccine. CDC recommends that if you have allergic reactions to any of the ingredients of the vaccine, then you should not get that specific vaccine.
According to the CDC, those with severe allergic reactions to some ingredients that are not related to the coronavirus vaccine may still get the vaccination. CDC adds that you should ask your doctor whether it is safe for you to have the vaccine.
CDC however ensures that safeguard standards are in place to closely monitor the safety of the vaccine.
Meanwhile, since the vaccine cannot be administered to all at the same time, you should still take the necessary precautions like wearing face masks and shields, frequent hand sanitizing, etc. If you intend to receive it, you should not be complacent but instead, be vigilant while waiting for your vaccine making yourself safe and healthy.