Vaccine safety

  • by VaccineHealthCenter

Millions worldwide are availing themselves for the Covid-19 jab. Studies have shown that when the vaccine is administered, the immune system is given a tremendous boost. This doesn’t mean that the individual has been granted a clean bill of health. One is still susceptible to contraction. However, the symptoms might be less severe or prevent one from death.
Nonetheless, patients want to be guaranteed of their safety before and after getting the vaccine. They’ll need your advice as a healthcare professional. What will you tell them if you don’t have the facts? This article is aimed at providing necessary information about vaccine safety.

Are Covid-19 vaccines safe?

All approved vaccines have undergone high standard clinical trials to verify their safety. They have to be cleared by the WHO and national health agencies before they are administered. Although developed within a shorter period as compared to other vaccines, all protocols were adhered to. Examples include AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer and Sputnik V vaccines.
Below are the unavoidable safety steps taken:

  • Thorough testing. The vaccine undergoes four steps before it’s approved for use. First, a maximum of 100 people is tested. Researchers want to find out if the vaccine is safe, its side effects and how the body responds to it. In stage two, a few hundred are given the shot to determine side effects and the vaccine's effectiveness. In phase three, the protection level of the vaccine is evaluated. Approval happens in stage four after it meets all the set criteria.
  • Emergency Use Authorization(EUA). In the case of an emergency, can the vaccine be used to control the situation before formal approval? If the answer is affirmative, then the vaccine will be released to the public.
  • Monitoring for side effects. Even after the roll-out of the vaccine, follow-up is required. This is to ensure problems in administration are kept at the minimum. Additionally, safety record sheets are filled to help medics track the number of those who experience severe side effects.

To what extent are the vaccines effective?
Based on the rigorous process involved before the vaccine gets a go-ahead for public use, they are effective. Although manufactured using different technologies, their goal is to strengthen the immunity system. All prevent patients from suffering severe illness or death. However, individuals should be given autonomy to select their most preferred choice.

What side effects will individuals experience?

  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Pain and swelling at the point of injection
  • Fatigue
  • Chills

The side effects are expected since the immune system is responding to the introduction of a new antigen. However, be prepared for any adverse symptoms such as neurological complications or shortness of breath from patients.
There have been concerns over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six people experienced severe blood clotting after being vaccinated in the US. This led to the suspension of the vaccine on 12 April 2021, as investigations are ongoing. During clinical trials, very few volunteers reported severe symptoms. It is important to note that other factors such as the method of administration, transportation and storage could also contribute to the development of such symptoms.

Can vaccines be withdrawn?

Although it’s a rare occurrence, the manufacturer might voluntarily remove some batches from the market. Irregularities such as reduced effectiveness may be noticed hence the withdrawal.

What will happen to patients having allergies?

Individuals who have common allergic reactions from protein or pollen can get vaccinated. However, extra caution should be observed for those who experience lethal allergic reactions like anaphylaxis. Access your patient and evaluate his risk to determine whether or he should take his shot.

The bottom line

Vaccine safety concerns are legitimate. As a healthcare provider, you took an oath to save lives and vaccines will help you do exactly so. The approved brands were scrutinized under strict internationally accepted standards to guarantee their safety. So, when you administer the next shot, be assured that you are saving lives.