The Covid-19 vaccine is shrouded in myths and info. Among the questions that most individuals in Kenya are asking embrace:
What are the side-effects of the Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccine?
First, it is very important do not forget that all vaccines and medicines have unwanted effects. For instance, paracetamol has some critical however uncommon unwanted effects; but all of us use it even in infants. Medication is all the time about balancing of advantages and dangers.
The unwanted effects of all of the Covid-19 vaccines are comparable and doubtless consequence from the physique’s immune response to the spike protein of the virus is injected in your arm.
— Most vaccine recipients could have a light sore arm and barely extreme. It resolves inside one to 2 days.
—Some folks could have swollen lymph nodes within the armpit on the facet the place the vaccine is given, however that too resolves with none problems.
—Some folks could have extra normal unwanted effects, of which fatigue/malaise or headache are the most typical.
—A smaller portion of individuals have fever or chills for a day or two. You should utilize paracetamol or different ache and fever treatment like brufen to ease the signs.
—Critical unwanted effects are very uncommon. A current dialogue in Europe about folks having clots occurred as a result of about two folks out of one million had clots, however that was the identical price of prevalence anticipated even in inhabitants of people that haven’t been vaccinated.
Additionally, do not forget that blood clots are a recognized and really worrying complication of Covid-19 itself.
Can I get Covid-19 from the vaccine?
No. The vaccine is just not a dwell virus and it doesn’t have the power to trigger Covid-19. It is not going to give a constructive PCR or antigen take a look at.
Because the vaccine induces antibodies towards the spike protein, it can lead to antibodies towards that, however at present antibody testing is just not being undertaken in Kenya.
Can I get Covid-19 after being vaccinated?
Sure. The AstraZeneca vaccine is about 60 to per cent efficient at stopping Covid-19 however about one hundred pc efficient in stopping dying and extreme illness.
That implies that after the vaccine you will get Covid-19, however for those who do, it might be milder. Additionally it is essential to do not forget that the safety begins solely 10 to 14 days after the primary shot, so in case you are uncovered one week after the shot you’re nonetheless fully susceptible to Covid-19, that means different beneficial preventive measures should be adhered to even after vaccination. After these first two weeks, the extent of safety builds up till two weeks after you have got had your second dose.
What if I’ve underlying circumstances equivalent to diabetes or HIV?
The vaccine is even rather more essential due to your excessive threat of getting extreme Covid-19 with out prevention. It’s true that the vaccine won’t work as nicely nevertheless it nonetheless works nicely sufficient to make it worthy.
What if I’m pregnant?
Pregnant girls weren’t included within the preliminary research so some have averted the vaccine however World Well being Organisation and CDC advocate its use in being pregnant.
It isn’t a dwell virus vaccine so there isn’t any cheap chance of issues. Additionally it is recognized that there’s elevated threat of extra extreme illness for those who get Covid-19 throughout being pregnant.
Thus, it’s a person option to steadiness perceived threat to the unborn child and certain profit however present proof has not proven negative effects when used at any stage (early or late) of being pregnant.
Can I obtain the vaccine if I’m breastfeeding?
Sure. There is no such thing as a chance of hurt to the newborn and maybe the newborn will obtain useful antibodies within the breast milk, simply because the mom’s milk helps forestall different kinds of an infection.
Does the vaccine work for aged folks?
Despite the fact that there have been nations earlier that didn’t use the vaccine in folks over 65, the proof accrued exhibits there’s safety in any respect ages. Since older individuals are at elevated threat, they need to have the jab and that’s the reason the Well being ministry has included them within the first vaccination section.
Does the vaccine work for the variants which might be in South Africa and different locations?
Present proof means that the Astra Zeneca vaccine doesn’t work as nicely for the South African variant in comparison with its effectiveness on the unique virus and that different vaccines are additionally much less efficient. Nonetheless, they nonetheless seem to forestall extreme illness and dying. Thus, we must always go for the vaccine now.
Drugmakers are engaged on up to date vaccines with higher effectiveness towards rising variants. Up to date suggestions ought to be out there in coming months.
What if I’ve allergic reactions to meals or medicines?
The one contraindication is thought allergy to a vaccine element (equivalent to PEG). There are not any plant or animal merchandise within the vaccine, so there isn’t any downside associated to meals allergic reactions or drug allergic reactions.
Likewise, if in case you have allergic reactions to medicines, it is best to nonetheless obtain the vaccine. All vaccination websites are nicely ready to deal with critical acute reactions on the time of vaccine administration.
Prof Adam is an Infectious Ailments Specialist
Dr Boniface Mativa, Interim Chief Medical officer at Aga Khan College Hospital Nairobi