COVID-19 Vaccine; The Why and How?
In the last year, we have been in and out of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic; The virus is transmissible and with global cases rising up to 198 million and deaths getting up to 4.23 million and counting, different medical measures have been put in place to curb the spread of the virus. Some of these measures include social distancing, use of nose masks and varying hygienic practices. However, with the cure of COVID-19 still not in view, medical experts have created a vaccine as the next best way to manage the pandemic.
What is the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Vaccines are known to train and prepare the human body’s natural defences (the immune system) to know and fight off a bacteria or virus. The COVID vaccine works, in the same way, to fight off the coronavirus when it comes in contact with the body system. (the vaccine is not a cure)
Some of the WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines include:
- AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine
- Johnson and Johnson
Why you should take the COVID-19 Vaccine
Although the COVID vaccine does not stand as a cure for covid-19, there are certain reasons why you should take the jab. Here are a few:
The COVID-19 vaccines are effective
Due to the series of scientific tests the vaccine undergoes, it is proven as an effective measure to curbing the pandemic. When you take the vaccine, you not only protect yourself by reducing your chances of contracting the illness, but if you do contract the illness, you significantly reduce your chances of severe illness and death. The vaccine also reduces your chances of spreading the illness.
COVID-19 vaccines prevent severe covid-19 symptoms
The COVID-19 virus as we all know comes with a number of flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, dry cough, sore throat, loss of smell and taste, difficulty breathing and a whole lot of other severe symptoms and death. According to health experts, the vaccine can reduce the fatal impact of the virus considerably. This means that if you take the COVID vaccine, even if you contract the virus, you will be faced with lesser severe symptoms as opposed to someone without the vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe
COVID vaccines were developed using established scientific methods. To further ensure the safety of the vaccine, it has undergone a series of clinical trials as required. After monitoring and extensive testing, the vaccines have been classified as effective and safe for use. Despite the intensive monitoring the COVID-19 vaccine has received, it continues to undergo more safety monitoring procedures.
After you get vaccinated, you can do more
A lot of our normal activities were halted because of the virus. Activities like travelling, sporting activities, and concerts underwent a lot of restrictions as a way to curb the virus; however, with the vaccine, a lot of activities are beginning to open up with lesser restrictions as the number of people vaccinated keep increasing.
How to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria
The COVID-19 vaccine has been gradually rolled out in Nigeria since the first quarter of 2021. Although individuals were initially required to register for the COVID-19 vaccination via the NPHCDA (National Primary Healthcare Development Agency) e-registration portal; currently, you can walk into any primary health centre or military hospital near you. To find a primary health centre close to you, click here
While you get vaccinated, it is also key to know your health status. If you or anyone close to you shows any of the known COVID symptoms, endeavour to run a COVID test. If you are a resident of Warri or Benin, you can visit Lutron Medical centre to run a COVID test