Does Vaccination Eliminate the Risk of Getting Corona?

07 May, 2021  |  Holy Winter - Healthcare Writer

Does Vaccination Eliminate the Risk of Getting Corona?

COVID-19 entered our lives at the end of the year 2019, and it has stayed way longer than we anticipated. People started to use several different antibiotics to treat themselves, not knowing that the virus cannot be treated or prevented by taking antibiotics.

For most people, COVID-19 can be treated like any other cold by taking rest, eating healthy and drinking lots of fluids. However, for people who develop more severe illness and need to be hospitalized, health care workers may use supplemental oxygen. In extreme cases, they may also have to put the patient on ventilation to keep them afloat.

The End of COVID-19: A New Hope

As soon as this virus emerged, scientists began researching its cure. With combined global effort and billions of dollars of investment for the first time in history, scientists came up with the COVID-19 Vaccine in record-breaking time. All this was possible due to the decades of work that was funnelled into the new vaccine technology.

Vaccines prepare the body’s immune system, allowing it to fight disease-causing organisms, called pathogens. A vaccine is introduced to the body to mimic the infection, which triggers the body to produce antibodies without actually getting the disease. Conventional vaccines contained a weakened or inactivated pathogen or a part of a pathogen called an antigen.

mRNA vaccines are a new generation of vaccines. mRNAs are molecules within the body that contain genetic instructions for cells to make various proteins which are essential for the body to function correctly. Once it is inside the body’s cell, the mRNA is translated into protein. The antigen is then displayed on the cell’s surface, where the body’s immune system recognizes it.

The sequence of events is similar to that of a conventional vaccine from here onwards. These vaccines are easier and safer to produce, expanding access to more people. mRNA vaccines have been researched for over two decades in the hopes of fighting diseases such as rabies, cancer, ebola etc.

COVID-19 Vaccination in the UK

Several COVID-19 Vaccines are under development by countries worldwide. Currently, three COVID-19 Vaccines have been approved by the National Health Service (NHS) to be administered in public, in the UK :

  • Pfizer/BioNTech

  • Moderna

  • OxfordAstraZeneca

 The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use the new mRNA technology. However, Oxford’s AstraZeneca utilizes DNA instead of the RNA genetic sample.

Which COVID-19 Vaccine is better?

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have high efficacy rates, 95% and 94%, respectively, whereas AstraZeneca has an efficacy rate of 67%. However, it is important to not compare these vaccines based on these numbers alone. 

How is a Vaccine’s Efficacy Rate Calculated?

A vaccine’s efficacy rate is calculated in large clinical trials, where the vaccine is tested on thousands of people. The people participating in the trials are divided into two groups. Half of the people participating in the clinical trials get the vaccines, and the other half get the placebo. The scientists then monitor if they contract COVID-19 over several months or not. The participants then go on about living their lives.

In conclusion, the number of people who are infected determines a vaccine’s efficacy. If the people are split evenly into the vaccine and placebo groups, it means you are just as likely to get sick, with or without the vaccine. This method ascribes a 0% efficacy to the vaccine.

If all the people fall in the placebo group and none in the vaccines group, the efficacy would be 100%. This efficacy applies to individuals only; for example, in Pfizer’s case, 95% efficacy means that the person is 95% less likely to get sick. Each vaccine’s efficacy is calculated in the same way; however, the trials’ circumstances are very different.

All Vaccines are Effective!

The where and when of the trials plays a vital role in determining the vaccine’s efficacy. If the trials are done when infection rates are high or performed with a different variant, the efficacy would turn out to be much lower. Judging a vaccine’s effectiveness based on its efficacy is not the best way to evaluate a vaccine.

For now, the goal of the COVID-19 vaccine is not to get 100% immunity but to lower hospitalizations and deaths. The question isn’t which vaccine will protect you from COVID-19, but instead, which vaccine will help you stay away from getting seriously ill or hospitalized, and that is all of them.

How to Get COVID-19 Vaccines

The NHS is currently offering the vaccine to older people at most risk from COVID-19. The vaccine is also being given to people who work in care homes, health care professionals, people who have learning disabilities, or are the primary caretaker of a person at risk from coronavirus.

You can book your vaccine appointment at a vaccine centre or pharmacy that provides COVID-19 Vaccinations. Two COVID-19 vaccine doses mean you’ll need two separate appointments, and it is advised that you must book both appointments at the same time. In case you have COVID-19, it is advised to wait 4 weeks after you get tested negative before getting vaccinated. Book your appointment here.

Risks and Benefits of Getting COVID-19 Vaccines

The vaccine cannot be 100% effective, and it cannot be 100% safe, but it’s our best bet to stop this pandemic. The side effects are similar to what you would get after getting an influenza shot or a tetanus shot from the current statistics. You get a sore arm for a day or two, headache and maybe some fatigue before the side effects disappear. Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine doesn’t put a stop to social distancing and masking. It is essential to follow these precautions until we get a stronger immunity within the communities.

Can I Test Positive after Getting Vaccinated?

If you have completed the two rounds of vaccination then you will have antibodies present in your body that will keep you immune from the virus. In case you contract COVID-19 after getting your first shot, there are no official guidelines. In this case, if you are out of your ten-day isolation window, most public health officials are encouraging people to keep that second appointment.

If you think you are COVID-19 positive, make sure to get a PCR test done for confirmation. You can get a simple RT-PCR Diagnostic Test done. iQ Doctor is a registered online pharmaceutical store that offers you COVID-19 RT-PCR Testing kits with two different certifications. It also provides you with an Antibody Testing Kit. iQ Doctor’s Test processing is fast and straightforward, and they provide complete discretion and confidentiality. You can order the Covid-19 testing kits from the iQ Doctor’s website.

Vaccination, a Personal Choice!

If you have a certain number of people vaccinated in a community, even those who are not vaccinated — either because they are too young, too old, too fragile or have chronic diseases —  are kept safe by people who are vaccinated.

Vaccination is a personal choice; however, it is essential to get vaccinated if you can for the safety of those around you, your family and friends. If you don’t have any medical complications, you should get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available to you since this is the only sure-fire way to overcome this pandemic.

Reviewed By

Omar El-Gohary

Omar El-Gohary

The superintendent and lead pharmacist - registration number 2059792.

Omar is passionate about developing healthcare technology to empower our patients.

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