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A WHO global report summary about COVID-19: Vaccine safety, side effects, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, reinfection after 2X vaccinations. Who should be excluded from receiving Covid-19 vaccine, self, family members and public protection

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There are strict protections in place to help ensure the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines. Before receiving validation from WHO and national regulatory agencies, COVID-19 vaccines must undergo rigorous testing in clinical trials to prove that they meet internationally agreed benchmarks for safety and efficacy.

What are the side efts of Covid-19 vaccines?

Like any vaccine, COVID-19 vaccines can cause mild, short-term side effects, such as a low-grade fever or pain or redness at the injection site. Most reactions to vaccines are mild and go away within a few days on their own. More serious or long-lasting side effects to vaccines are possible but extremely rare. Vaccines are continually monitored for as long as they are in use, to detect rare adverse events and implement approaches to limit their occurrence.

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What happens if an adverse event reporting?

As with any vaccine, it is essential to closely monitor the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines that are used in immunization programs. If a health problem is reported following vaccination, a thorough investigation should take place by the public health programme in the country.

It is rare to find that health problems occurring following receipt of a vaccine are actually caused by the vaccine itself. Health problems following vaccination are most often found to be coincidental and entirely unrelated to vaccination.

Is it possible that someone vaccinated against Covid-19 still get infected?

While COVID-19 vaccines have high levels of efficacy, especially against hospitalization and severe disease, no vaccine is 100% protective. As a result, there will be a small percentage of vaccinated people who fall ill with COVID-19 in spite of being vaccinated.

In addition to a vaccine’s specific characteristics, several factors such as a person’s age, their underlying health conditions, previous COVID-19 disease, current exposure to SARS-CoV-2, or the circulation of virus variants may have an impact on a vaccine’s effectiveness.

For the first 14 days after getting vaccinated, you do not have significant levels of protection as the protection increases gradually. For a single-dose vaccine, protection is generally considered to occur by two weeks after vaccination. For two-dose vaccines, both doses are needed to achieve the highest level of immunity possible.

Who should be excluded from receiving Covid-19 vaccines?

Medical professionals can best advise individuals on whether or not they should receive a COVID-19 vaccine. There are very few conditions that would exclude someone from being vaccinated. Based on available evidence, people with a history of severe allergic reactions to any ingredients of the COVID-19 vaccine should generally be excluded from COVID-19 vaccination in order to avoid possible adverse effects.

If you are currently sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you can get vaccinated once your primary symptoms have resolved.

In addition to the general recommendations above, each vaccine may have specific considerations for specific populations and health conditions.

Is it safe for pregnant women, those planning to become pregnant, and breastfeeding mothers to receive Covid-19 vaccines?

Common side effects

Vaccines allow the body to build immunity by activating T and B lymphocytes, cells that, respectively, recognize the targeted virus and produce antibodies to combat it.

A vaccine cannot cause COVID-19. No vaccine contains a complete form of the virus responsible for this illness.

While their body builds immunity, it is normal for a person to experience minor side effects.

Common side effects of a COVID-19 vaccine include:

∑          a fever, fatigue, headaches, body aches, chills, nausea

A person might also experience side effects around the injection site, which is usually the upper arm. These might include swelling, pain, redness, an itchy rash, and other mild forms of irritation.

How to protect yourself and others

Wear a mask!

·   If you are not fully vaccinated and aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask in indoor public places.

·  In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.

o    In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

·  People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may NOT be protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.

· If you are fully vaccinated, see When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated.

Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus).

Stay 6 feet away from others

·         Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

o  If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.

·         Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.

o    Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.

o    Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from other people.

o    Keeping distance from others are especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

·  Authorized COVID-19 vaccines can help protect you from COVID-19.

· You should get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you.

·  Being in crowds like in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theatres puts you at higher risk for COVID-19.

·  Avoid indoor spaces that do not offer fresh air from the outdoors as much as possible.

·  If indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible.

Wash your hands often

·  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

·         It’s especially important to wash:

o   Before eating or preparing food

o    Before touching your face

o    After using the restroom

o    After leaving a public place

o After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

o    After handling your mask

o    After changing a diaper

o    After caring for someone sick

o    After touching animals or pets

·         Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Monitor your health daily

·         Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.

∑          Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.

For further information: WHO website, [email protected], send only text messages to DR HASSAN AZADEH, WHATSAPP 002207774469, 002203063333.

Author DR HASSAN AZADEH, Senior Lecturer Physician at the University of the Gambia and American International University, Clinical Director at Medicare Health Services.

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