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What To Expect Before And After COVID-19 Vaccination


Vaccines are the tugboats of preventive medicine….William Foege.

The mass COVID-19 vaccination started on the 1st March 2021 with the president leading the park at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.

The vaccine is to be administered to government officials, members of the other arms of government, frontline health workers and people with documented underlying health conditions, just to mention but a few, aimed at getting 20 million Ghanaians vaccinated.

A few concerns have been raised after the mass vaccination was rolled out. Notable and striking incidences of pain, redness, swelling and increased warmth at the site of injection, headache fever and other flu-like symptoms are expected for any injectable vaccine and not just the COVID-19 vaccine. However, it is worth noting that; if the redness and the swelling at the site of injection are increasing in size after 24hrs or the fever, chills, headache and other flu-like symptoms mimicking a full-blown symptomatic COVID-19, is not succumbing to the usual first aid regimen, then you need to seek for medical attention from any hospital near you.

It doesn’t mean you have COVID-19 and will test positive for coronavirus, your body has noticed something foreign just like having redness, swelling and increased warmth at any traumatized site of your body. This may seem to be a red-flagging and worrying episode for the one experiencing these symptoms. This I must say, is recorded in very few cases. This is because we all react to things in our environment differently. Consult your healthcare provider for assistance when these symptoms are not subsiding.

These are basic home remedies you can follow to tone down these side-effects before seeking medical attention. Pain and swelling at the site can be dampened by applying a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area and pain in the arm can be mitigated by exercising your arm according to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

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A growing perception gaining popularity is that safety and preventive protocols of COVID-19 like social distancing, handwashing and nose masking can be disregarded after taking the vaccine. This is so false. The vaccination exercise is just an add-on to the already existing protocols because it takes at least 2-3 weeks to have an effective immune response to the vaccine. This is a window period for new coronavirus infection for people who do not follow the protocols after vaccination.

Another reason is that the two jabs are needed to confer the maximum attainable immune response; 12 weeks apart for AstraZeneca and 3 weeks for sputnik V. Also, observing the protocols will encourage those who are yet to be vaccinated to take the safety measure more seriously. I urge participants of the vaccination program to make themselves available when its time for the next jab to have the full immune response the vaccine offers.

Should victims of active COVID-19 infection take the vaccine?

It is an emphatic yes. People have raised concerns that a victim of previous active Coronavirus will have the immune machinery like the memory B cells and antibodies floating in their blood to protect them after recovery from the disease similar to what the COVID-19 vaccine will do after the jab; therefore, no need to take the jab.

World Health Organization (WHO) recommends are that;

(1) The vaccine elicits more antibodies than that of post-COVID-19, 

 (2) Investigation on the protective duration of the immune response of that of the vaccine has been studied and well known; having a protective duration of about more than a year whilst that of post-COVID is not well known(this is the reason why people have more than 1 active disease episode).

(3) More antibodies is not a bad idea; antibodies from vaccination plus that antibodies of post-COVID is not bad at all. Therefore recovered victims can be vaccinated.

The dichotomy is that people with active disease cannot take this vaccine. WHO asserts that people with active disease should recover before offering themselves to be vaccinated. The vaccine is estimated to be the magic wand to restore us to normal activities. The COVAX program that Ghana is privileged to be enjoying is a WHO-initiative put in place because financially stable and developed countries were preordering these vaccines. Statisticians postulated that this preordering activity will make developing, underdeveloped and poor countries get the vaccines in 2023. This is what gave birth to the COVAX free vaccine distribution of which Ghana was the first country to receive it, having benefitted from 60,000 doses already.

I find the conspiracy theory that the imported COVAX vaccine is a deliberate ploy to wipe out populations unscientific and unrealistic. A collective effort is needed to end this pandemic.

#staysafe #getvaccinated #COVIDisreal. #observetheprotocols


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