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Your questions answered: The Covid-19 vaccine

The Covid-19 vaccine is starting to be rolled out across the states. With frontline healthcare workers being prioritized for vaccination, here are the answers to some questions you may have before having your vaccine.

What vaccine can I have?

Two vaccines have so far been approved for use by the FDA. This is the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, both of which have also been approved in countries such as Canada, the UK and Israel.

Is the vaccine safe?

Over 44,000 participants took part in the Pfizer vaccine trials and 30,000 in the Moderna trials. The FDA used the results from these trials to determine the vaccine’s safety and efficiency for emergency roll out. The vaccines will continue to be studied even after rollout.

What is the effectiveness of the vaccines?

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have a 95% efficacy rate.

How do the vaccines protect me?

Both vaccines contain what is known as an mRNA code. This code carries information about the viral cells. Once administered, the code allows an individual’s body to make a protein that triggers their immune system to create relevant antibodies to prevent serious illness from this virus. It is important to note that neither virus will give you the virus as it does not contact the live virus cells.

Why do I need two doses?

Scientific studies have shown that a second dose of the vaccine helps your body to produce the antibodies you need to provide long-term immunity.

Will I get any side effects?

It’s common to get mild reactions after having any vaccination. This could be anything from soreness at the injection area, muscle ache, joint ache or headaches. These reactions are normal and indicate that your body is building immunity. If you’re worried about any reactions, contact your doctor or the vaccination provider.

It is important to note that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that if you have previously had a severe allergic reaction to any of the vaccine’s ingredients, you should not receive that particular vaccine.

Pregnant women or those who think they might be pregnant should also consult their doctor prior to having the vaccine.

Sources:
Aljazeera.com
nyp.org
cdc.gov

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