AstraZeneca vaccine also known as Vaxzevria (Covid-19 vaccine) is a vaccine used to prevent Covid-19(Coronavirus) which can cause severe disease and death. The disease can also have long-term consequences in people of all ages, including in otherwise healthy people. The vaccine was developed to prevent Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in people aged 18 years and older.
The vaccine is made up of another virus (of the adenovirus family) that has been modified to contain the gene for making a protein from SARS-CoV-2. The vaccine does not contain the virus itself and cannot cause COVID-19.
What birthed the AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine?
After the uprising of the novel Coronavirus in the year 2019, two scientists set out to develop a vaccine in response to the pandemic with a bid to curb the spread of the virus and save lives.
The research teams led by Professor Andy Pollard and Professor Sarah Gilbert – both based at the Oxford Vaccine Centre – decided to combine their talents to develop and manufacture a vaccine that could protect people from the deadly new coronavirus that was beginning to spread across the world.
Nigeria recently got her supply of the vaccine and had begun administering it to her citizens so as to further curb the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
What are the known benefits and Risks Of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine?
AstraZeneca is effective at preventing hospitalizations, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admissions, and deaths due to COVID-19. The most common side effects are usually mild or moderate and get better within a few days. The most serious side effects are very rare cases of unusual blood clots with low blood platelets, which are estimated to occur in 1 in 100,000 vaccinated people. People should seek medical assistance if they have symptoms like fever, headache, joint and body pains, body weakness, or any other unfamiliar feeling that erupts after taking the vaccine.
AstraZeneca vaccine was approved in the EU because its benefits outweigh the risks for an individual potentially exposed to the agent causing disease. However, national authorities later consider other factors when deciding how to best use the vaccines.
How long does the AstraZeneca Vaccine’s side effect last?
The less common side effect of the vaccine includes enlarged lymph nodes, limb pain, dizziness, decreased appetite, stomach pain, etc. These side effects are usually mild and usually, go away within one or two days.
Why do we need a second dose of the AstraZeneca Vaccine?
The committee recommended continuing giving the second dose of AstraZeneca between 4 and 12 weeks after giving the first one in line with the product information. This is to ensure that the vaccine works effectively by increasing the immuno response of the body. There is usually a waiting time between the first and second doses for the body to process the effects and build a certain level of immunity.
Covid-19 might not be out of our lives pretty soon but we can improve our immunity and curb the spread of the virus by taking the vaccine. Follow the NCDC website for information and inquiries about the AstraZeneca Vaccine and ensure that you get vaccinated. Be quick to report your side effects if they become too uncomfortable. It is also worthy of note that although it is not a crime to refuse to get vaccinated in Nigeria, you can be prosecuted if you instigate others to not take the vaccine.