UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT OF VACCINE
VACCINE- It is administered primarily to prevent from a disease. It is a suspension of weakened, killed, or fragmented microorganisms or toxins or of antibodies or lymphocytes.
How does it work?
It stimulates your immune system or the natural system of the body which fight against diseases. The healthy immune system recognizes the invading bacteria and viruses in addition it produce antibodies to destroy or disable them.
HISTORY OF VACCINE
In 1980s, the Smallpox was eradicated worldwide by through vaccination and cases of Poliomyelitis declined by 99%.
Vaccines have been developed of various diseases – Mumps, Measles, Typhoid fever, Cholera, Plague, Tuberculosis, Tularemia, Pneumococcal infection, tetanus, influenza, yellow fever, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, some types of encephalitis, and typhus.
THE ROLE OF VACCINE IN COVID ERA
The daily count on 15April 2021 is noted to be double of the first peak making the Environment fearful.
The 2nd wave is affecting even to those who are staying indoors due to the large asymptomatic population and the presence of more infectious variants of the virus.
The detection of the UK strain in a significant proportion during genome surveillance in Delhi and Punjab has shown a 50% higher transmission, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The only way to prevent from this dreadful second wave is Vaccines, stringent lockdown, and awareness.
VACCINES AVAILABLE IN INDIA
There are two vaccines available in India-
- Developer- Bharat Biotech in association with the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) – National Institute of Virology (NIV).
- It is made by using Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell derived platform technology. Inactivated vaccines contain dead virus, which is incapable of infecting people but still able to instruct the immune system to mount a defensive reaction against an infection. Thus, do not replicate and are therefore unlikely to revert and cause pathological effects.
- COVAXIN® – efficacy rate is 81% in preventing COVID-19 according to interim 3rd phase trial results.
- Analysis from the National Institute of Virology indicates that vaccine-induced antibodies can neutralize the UK variant strains and other heterologous strains.
- This Vaccine has been developed by the Oxford-AstraZeneca and is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
- It has been prepared by using the viral vector platform which is a totally different technology.
- A chimpanzee adenovirus – ChAdOx1 – It has been modified to enable it to carry the COVID-19 spike protein into the cells of humans. This virus can very well teach the immune system to prepare a mechanism against such viruses but it is incapable of infecting the receiver. Exactly the same technology was used to prepare vaccines for the viruses like Ebola.
- It has has shown a very satisfactory efficacy of 62%.
- Two dose regimen for both the vaccines.
- After the first dose, the Second dose must be administered in between 6 to 8weeks.
MODE OF ADMINISTRATION
Both Covaxin and Covishield are IM or intramuscular vaccines
Site of administration- Deltoid region in arm.
AGE OF BENIFICIARIES
Covishield – Age limit- 18 years and above.
Covaxin- It can be given to people aged 12 years and above.
There is no assurance whether the vaccine can be given to children and pregnant women.
BENEFITS OF GETTING VACCINATED
The Herd immunity is achieved when a sufficient number of individuals in a population are immune to a disease. It is possible through vaccination of a large proportion of a population. In other words it would be said that if there is random mixing of individuals within the population, then the pathogen cannot be spread throughout the population.
It acts by lessening the chances of susceptible individuals coming in contact with a person who is infectious or breaking the transmission of infection.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF COVID-19 VACCINE
Minor Side effects that have been reported are as follows-
- Pain in the Injection site / Swelling / Redness / Itching
- Malaise/body aches
It is rare to get a severe allergic reaction after getting a dose.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU GET VACCINE?
You should mention some things regarding your health to your vaccinator provider/ Officer supervising about all of your medical conditions –
- If you are on regular medication for any illness, for how long and for which condition.
- Any allergies
- Bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner.
- Immuno-compromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
In the above conditions vaccination should be avoided or consult your doctor regarding these issues.
- The vaccines doesn’t contain live COVID 19 virus.
- It is not possible to contract COVID 19 virus from being vaccinated.
- Even if you have already had COVID 19 infection, the vaccine is recommended.
- It reduces hospitalization and deaths due to COVID 19 disease.
- After being vaccinated- One should continue to wear a mask, maintain social distance and practice proper hand hygiene.