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COVID-19 Vaccines: What You Should Know

What is the best COVID-19 vaccine for me?

All WHO-approved vaccines have been found to provide excellent protection against COVID-19-related disease and death. The greatest vaccine is the one that is most easily accessible to you!

Remember that if your immunization requires two doses, you must obtain both for optimal protection.

What is the mechanism of action of COVID-19 vaccines?

Vaccines function by simulating an infectious agent, such as viruses, bacteria, or other microbes that might cause disease. This ‘teaches’ our immune system to respond quickly and efficiently to it.

Vaccines have traditionally accomplished this by injecting a weakened form of an infectious pathogen into our bodies, allowing our immune systems to create a memory of it. Our immune system will be able to recognize it and battle it before it causes us to become ill. Some of the COVID-19 vaccines have been created in this manner.

Other COVID-19 vaccines have been produced utilizing novel methods known as messenger RNA vaccines, or mRNA vaccines. mRNA vaccines, rather than introducing antigens (a material that induces your immune system to make antibodies), provide our bodies with the genetic code they need.

Other COVID-19 vaccines, known as messenger RNA, or mRNA, vaccines, have been produced utilizing novel techniques. Rather than delivering antigens (a material that causes your immune system to make antibodies), mRNA vaccinations provide our bodies with the genetic code they need to produce the antigen themselves. For decades, scientists have researched mRNA vaccine technology. They don’t have any live viruses in them, and they don’t mess with human DNA.

Visit the World Health Organization for additional information on immunizations.

Are COVID-19 vaccinations considered to be safe?

Yes, COVID-19 vaccines were developed as quickly as possible, but they must all pass rigorous clinical trials to demonstrate that they fulfill internationally agreed-upon safety and efficacy standards. A vaccination can only be validated by WHO and country regulatory organizations if it meets these requirements.

UNICEF will only purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccinations that have been approved by the FDA and meet WHO’s stated safety and efficacy requirements.

What are the COVID-19 vaccine’s side effects?

Vaccines are intended to provide immunity without the risk of contracting the disease. Not everyone gets them, but mild-to-moderate side effects are common and usually go away on their own after a few days.

Following immunization, you may experience the following mild-to-moderate adverse effects:

  • Soreness in the arm where the injection was given
  • Fever (mild)
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Aches in the muscles or joints
  • Chills
  • Diarrhoea

Rest, staying hydrated, and taking pain and fever medication, if necessary, will help you manage any adverse effects.

If any symptoms persist for more than a few days, seek guidance from your healthcare professional. Serious adverse effects are extremely uncommon, but if you do have one, you should contact your healthcare practitioner right once.

Do the COVID-19 vaccines protect against Delta and Omicron variants?

The WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccinations, especially the prevalent Delta form, remain very effective at preventing serious disease and death. Although research on the novel Omicron strain is ongoing, WHO states that the current vaccines appear to give enough protection against severe sickness and death.

The most important thing to do is get vaccinated and continue to take steps to prevent the virus from spreading – which helps to reduce the virus’s chances of mutating – such as physical separation, mask use, good ventilation, regular handwashing, and seeking medical attention as soon as symptoms appear.

Is it permissible for me to combine vaccines?

Mixing various vaccines has yet to be thoroughly researched. WHO recommends getting your second or third dose of the same vaccine as your first dose if at all possible. If you have any queries about what is best for you, consult your local health authorities and chat with your healthcare professional.

I’m expecting a baby. Is it possible to get vaccinated against COVID-19?

You can get vaccinated while pregnant. Although the overall risk of serious sickness from COVID-19 is minimal, pregnant women are at a higher risk of severe illness than non-pregnant women.

Despite the lack of data, evidence of COVID-19 vaccine safety during pregnancy is growing, and no adverse issues have been reported. Speak to your healthcare practitioner for additional information on receiving a COVID-19 immunization while pregnant.

I’m a breastfeeding mother. Is it necessary for me to get vaccinated against COVID-19?

Yes, you should get the vaccine as soon as it becomes available if you are breastfeeding. It is completely risk-free for both the mother and the baby. There is no risk of you passing COVID-19 to your baby through your breastfeeding because none of the existing COVID-19 vaccines contain live virus. Indeed, the antibodies you produce as a result of immunization may pass via your breast milk and protect your kid.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine have an effect on fertility?

No, you may have read erroneous claims on social media, but there is no proof that any vaccine, including COVID-19 immunizations, can alter female or male fertility. If you’re attempting to conceive, you should get immunized.

Could the COVID-19 vaccine cause my menstrual cycle to be disrupted?

After getting vaccinated against COVID-19, some persons have complained that their menstrual cycle has been disrupted. Although there is still a lack of evidence, research into the effects of vaccines on menstrual cycles is ongoing.

If you have any concerns or questions concerning your periods, talk to your doctor.

Is a COVID-19 vaccine recommended for my child or teen?

As more vaccines are approved for use in children, it’s critical to keep up with local and national health authorities’ recommendations.

WHO has cleared the use of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in children aged 12 and up. We’ll keep you updated as more evidence becomes available about vaccine efficacy and safety in children under the age of 12.

At this time, WHO advises that nations only vaccinate children after achieving high vaccination coverage with two doses in higher priority-use groups. Because children and adolescents have milder disease than adults, it is less necessary to vaccinate them than older persons, those with chronic health conditions, and health workers unless they are part of a group at increased risk of severe COVID-19.

Remind your children that it is critical that we all take care to protect one another, such as avoiding crowded settings, physical distance, hand washing, and wearing a mask.

Children must continue to receive the recommended childhood immunizations.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine have an impact on your DNA?

No, none of the COVID-19 vaccines have any effect on or interaction with your DNA. mRNA vaccines instruct cells on how to produce a protein that stimulates an immune response within the body. Antibodies are produced as a result of this response, which keep you safe from the pathogen. mRNA differs from DNA in that it only lasts 72 hours inside the cell before decaying. It never makes it into the nucleus of the cell, where DNA is stored.

What exactly is COVAX?

COVAX is part of a global initiative to speed up the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines while also ensuring fair and equitable access worldwide. COVID-19 will not be safe until all countries have been protected.

The COVAX Facility involves 190 countries and territories, accounting for more than 90% of the world’s population. UNICEF is leading efforts on behalf of COVAX to buy and supply COVID-19 vaccinations, working with CEPI, GAVI, WHO, and other partners.

Find out more about COVAX.

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