12 medically proven facts on the Covid-19 vaccine 

Here are 12 medically proven facts that debunk the myths on the coronavirus.

Despite the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines to workers and other essential service providers, a lot of misinformation still goes around on its development, efficacy, and how it helps manage or mitigate further spread of the virus. Here are 12 medically proven facts that debunk the myths on the coronavirus.

Also read: Africa to produce 60% of its vaccine needs by 2040

Does the Covid-19 vaccine work?

The coronavirus vaccines offer protection against the disease by offering an immune response to the SARS-Cov-2 virus. This vaccine provides an immune response to the antigen a molecule on the virus that provides a steady supply of ‘memory’ T- and B-lymphocytes that fight off the virus in the future. 

Currently, there are four mainstream Covid-19 vaccine options. They all provide immunity to the virus, a reduction in symptoms on those infected, and the ability to slow down or completely halt transmission. 

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How safe is the Covid-19 vaccine?

The vaccines administered across Africa are safe and have also been received by millions of people in other parts of the globe. One of the major concerns pointed out touches on the speed of development. Their speedy development was driven by the urgency to save lives. 

All medical products - the coronavirus included - go through every country’s health regulatory authorities before receiving a green light for adoption. 

Also read: AstraZeneca vaccine rollout halted over low effectiveness toward South African variant

What are the side effects?

There are occasional reports of people who are vaccinated experiencing mild side effects that are mostly temporary. The side effects are akin to just about any other vaccine for instance muscle pain, soreness, chills, injection site, and headaches. Others report nausea and fatigue. After a few days, they disappear.

Can you get Covid-19 from a vaccine?

No. None of the vaccines carry the live virus that causes Covid-19. 

Also read: South African Covid-19 variant reduces vaccine protections

How effective is the covid-19 vaccine?

No vaccine offers a 100% level of effectiveness. As per the clinical data emerging from the new vaccines developed, some have very high efficacies against certain variants. Any vaccine with a 70% efficacy means that the person vaccinated during the clinical trial is two-thirds less likely to develop a disease than someone who did not receive it during the trials. As the virus mutated to become more severe, efficacy rate was set at 50%. 

Is it mandatory to take the vaccine?

No. In most countries, taking the vaccine is a personal choice. 

Do I need to take the vaccine after I already got Covid-19?

Yes. You can still get vaccinated after suffering from Covid-19 or you come back with a positive antibody test. Research shows that the natural immunity from having Covid-19 does not last long, meaning you have to combine vaccination and observing the right preventive protocols. 

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Am I immune after taking the vaccine? How long does it last?

The duration of the strength of the vaccine on the human body is still under research. Of those who have thus received the vaccination, at the very least the vaccine lasts for 4 months. The risk of vaccinated persons contracting Covid-19 cannot be entirely eliminated.

Can someone pregnant or breastfeeding take the vaccine?

None of the vaccine trials involved pregnant individuals so knowledge on the same is limited. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) argue that the currently authorized Covid-19 vaccines can be given to pregnant or breastfeeding women. 

Also read: Egypt’s medical staff face arrest if they protest the handling of covid-19

Is it safe for someone living with HIV/AIDs to get vaccinated?

Evidence exists that those with HIV/AIDs are more at risk of developing severe Covid-19 symptoms thus are highly encouraged to undergo vaccination. The vaccinations are the most powerful tools right now to prevent the development of SARS-CoV-2. It is worth noting that the vaccines are not live and thus cannot affect those with compromised immune systems. 

Also read: Mozambique records first deaths from covid-19

What is herd immunity?

Herd immunity occurs when a large part of the population develops immunity to a virus, either through infection or vaccination.