By Br. Alfonce Kugwa
The role out of the Covid-19 vaccine in the world has caused a lot of anxiety resulting in a lot of myths and misconceptions. There is a lot of mistrust and scepticism about the vaccine especially the Sinopharm vaccine that has been donated to Zimbabwe by the government of China. The myths and misconceptions have triggered a lot of fear and uncertainty in the public. While people want to be protected from Covid-19, they fear the unknown effects of the vaccine. Catholic Church News has compiled some fears, benefits, medical advice and public concerns about the Sinopharm vaccine.
Fears about the vaccine:
The vaccines are still under research so the risk of dying or developing debilitating side effects is inevitable.
Not much education has been given to the population let alone health service about the vaccine.
Lack of information has led to many fears; “What if I get sick”. We cannot experiment on human beings.
Virus mutates, so which virus are we being vaccinated against?
People are afraid of the unknown.
Why continue wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing and sanitisation if the vaccine works?
The fear that the vaccine can lead to sickness: The Covid-19 vaccines do not contain “live” virus that causes Covid-19 and therefore will not make one sick.
Is it safe; Are testing protocols being followed or is an experiment? All vaccines are being or have been carefully evaluated in clinical trials and are only authorised or approved if they substantially decrease infection contraction.
Will alter people’s DNA make up: vaccines do not alter the DNA make up of an individual.
Fear in individuals with underlying cormobidities: They should be vaccinated as they are likely to get severe diseases.
People are not sure whether the vaccine is safe or not.
Benefits of the vaccine:
The vaccines are said to protect people against severe forms of the disease and hence reduce the risk of dying.
It is also believed that the vaccines protect against developing symptomatic illness although research is still underway as to whether the vaccinated person can transmit the diseases or not.
Vaccines in general, if well investigated and researched help in eradication of diseases.
Vaccination offers some form of natural protection/immunity. It does this by creating antibodies without having to experience sickness.
It decreases chances of severe illness as well as serious life threatening complications.
After how long does immunity develop after vaccination?
Most vaccines are two dose vaccines. After the first dose, a good immune response kicks in with about two weeks. The second dose boosts the first immune response and therefore the immunity gets even stronger.
Do I need to continue wearing a face mask after vaccination?
CDC recommends that vaccinated people continue to observe recommendations to prevent the spread and contraction of the infection.
Will one transmit infection after vaccination?
The vaccine does not give Covid-19. However, one can spread the virus to someone after vaccination if exposed to Covid-19 somewhere else. Thus it is imperative to continue to observe preventative measures.
Concerns on side effects and safety:
Vaccines protect individuals against disease and hopefully against infection, but no vaccine is 100% effective. It is important to curb this disease which poses a serious risk of severe illness as well as death. This public health disease also has far reaching economic and social ramifications. It therefore, makes sense to gain immunity to stop the spread of the disease within the population.