Why vaccinate?

ORANJESTAD – The Department of Public Health informs about the Covid-19 vaccine.

It will not take much longer for the Covid-19 vaccine to be available in Aruba. Despite the 95% effectiveness, there are still many who question the safety of this vaccine.

The coronavirus had a devastating impact around the globe, killing 1,5 million people.

At its mortality peak, the Coronavirus killed twice as many people as cancer did.

​The coronavirus has a morbidity rate much higher than most chronic illnesses. That means that those suffering from a chronic illness and contract Covid19 will worsen their conditions to a dangerous level.

 Some argue that only 1% contracted with the Coronavirus will succumb and die, while 99% recover.

This data may be correct but does not reflect reality. For every 1% (1 out of 100) who die of the Coronavirus:

  • 19% end up being hospitalized
  • 18% will suffer long term damage to their heart
  • 10% will have permanent damage to their lungs.
  • 2% will experience neurologic damage, which will cause chronic physical weakness and loss of coordination
  • 2% will experience neurologic damage which will result in loss of cognitive function.

Besides, impotency among others has been detected in patients who were infected with the virus.

All of the above mentioned is relevant to understand the importance of the Covid19 vaccine.

In the USA and Europe, drugs undergo extensive testing and rigorous processing. This also applies to expedited processing like the one of the covid-19 vaccine. It took many months to develop the vaccine and over 30000 volunteers to test the effectiveness before the vaccine was deemed safe and approved by the authorities.

AD COVID-19 vaccine  The development of the covid-19 vaccine is based on the latest technology.  The genetic code of the virus is copied to create a synthetic protein similar to the virus. A very small dosage of this synthetic protein is injected into the body when vaccinated. This will trigger the body to think it is under attack by a foreign virus and it will activate its immune system to start making antibodies to fight what it thinks is the virus. Once the body has enough antibodies, it can immediately fight the real virus when the person is infected. This will result in an infected person not becoming ill from the virus.

For someone to have stronger immunity, the vaccine is administered twice. The second dosage is giving 21 days after the first one and serves as a booster to help the immune system to react better to the virus. The vaccine goes to work immediately but reaches its maximum effectiveness 7 days after the second dose.

Most secondary side effects are light and can last for one day. To understand the possible secondary side effects, it is important to know exactly what happens in the body when vaccinated or any virus enters the body.

Everyone has viruses and bacteria in their bodies. As soon as these amounts become large, the body’s defense system takes action. Our body’s immunological cells release a chemical called cytokines in the blood which in turn triggers the immune system to attack these viruses.

Cytokines cause inflammation which is the body’s natural way of cleaning itself. This inflammation causes these symptoms that make us feel ill. Some examples are headache, muscle ache, sore throat, body aches, and bone pain. These symptoms are familiar for many who had the flu or stomach flu in the past. Each symptom is the body’s reaction to fighting the virus. A fever occurs when the body increases its temperature to kill the virus. Coughing and sneezing is the body’s way to expel the virus entering the mouth or nose. Vomiting or diarrhea is the body's way of getting the virus out of the digestive system.

On average the symptoms of Covid19 appear on the 5th or 6th day, but it can always take up to 14 days before symptoms appear either mild or severe.

Those with a healthy immune system have a strong enough body to make the antibodies when the Coronavirus attacks. For others who have underlying health conditions like chronic heart disease, pulmonary disease, a blood disorder, high blood pressure, diabetes, overweight, cancer, etc., the Coronavirus can be devastating.

This is also valid for those who have a compromised immune system like HIV and dialysis patients.

Anyone in the above-mentioned category including those over 60 years of age but more so those over 85 years are urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The vast majority of Covid19 fatalities are of individuals in this category.

The way the vaccine is made requires special handling. It needs to be stored at very low temperatures which makes its handling very challenging. It does not only require costly storage equipment but also qualified personnel who know how to handle cold vaccines. The shelf life of the vaccine out of the cold temperature is very short and meticulous coordination is very important.

According to experts, once 70%-80% of the population has covid-19 antibodies, they have reached herd immunity and the pandemic will end. Herd immunity is reached when the percentage of people have antibodies thanks to the vaccine and by being infected with Covid19. This limits the number of infectious persons drastically to the point there are not enough to spread the virus and causing the pandemic to come to an end.

There are a few options to register those who already have the antibodies (either by getting the virus or vaccine). A passport, a registration card, or a small booklet (similar to the yellow/orange book required to travel to certain countries) are the possible options for registration. This will indicate the vaccine status.

There are many strategies planned for who will receive the vaccine first. In Belgium for example, they will start vaccinating the residents, staff, and personnel of nursing homes and hospitals.

The general intention is to start with those working in healthcare like doctors, nursing personnel, assistants, etc.

The second group is those of higher risks including nursing home residents, those above the age of 60, and those with chronic illnesses.

Many countries are considering vaccinating those in key industries for their countries. Tourism dependent countries will have their entire tourism sector who come in direct contact with tourists vaccinated.

It is still uncertain what each country will do and which category will follow the first and second categories of vaccination. A controversial yet interesting theory is to vaccinate those least responsible first. According to this theory, there is this group that does not care at all

With any of the regulations to avoid contracting the virus. This group represents 20% of the population but are responsible for 80% of infections. It will be difficult to vaccinate this group easily since most are the least concerned to get vaccinated.

The key question is if you are taking the vaccine when it’s your category’s turn. The answer is very easy; if you qualify in one of the above-mentioned categories of great importance, it is a good idea to get vaccinated as soon as possible. If you are not categorized in any of the high importance groups, please consider the fact that by taking the vaccine, you are not only protecting yourself but also your loved ones, the community, and the economy.

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