The vaccination campaign against the Coronavirus started on Wednesday in the North, and naturally people have questions: what does the vaccine do? Is it safe? And when is it my turn? Here are the most important questions and answers at a glance.
Translated by Adriana Dancu
Which company’s vaccine will be used?
Initially only the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine was supposed to be used, however, five more companies will follow later (AstraZeneca, Moderna, Cure Vac; Janssen, and Sanofi). They have been ordered as part of an EU wide buying bloc, but not all of them are allowed in the Netherlands. It was announced that the European Union has also approved the Moderna vaccine on Wednesday.
Am I obliged to get vaccinated?
No. Vaccination is done on a voluntary basis. Your employer cannot demand it from you either. However, the vaccination programme will only be effective if a certain proportion of the population are inoculated. For the most accurate facts on vaccination, check out the WHO.
How many injections will I get, and when am I immune?
You will receive two injections for the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. The second injection follows at least three weeks after the first; and you are protected against the Coronavirus from the seventh day after the second injection.
How long will I be protected?
You will be protected for at least three months. This period is expected to be much longer, but there is no practical data on that yet. However, experts are optimistic because the amount of antibodies in the test subjects had not yet decreased after three months.
Can I still get the Coronavirus after the vaccination?
Yes, that’s possible. The vaccination lowers the risk of Covid-19 by 95 percent. Out of every 100 people who are vaccinated, five will get Covid-19, but the course of the disease is usually less severe.
Does this vaccine also protect against Coronavirus mutations?
In most cases it probably does. Scientists all over the world are closely monitoring the mutations, and if necessary, manufacturers can quickly adapt their vaccines.
What does the vaccine do?
The vaccine introduces your body to a weakened form of the virus. In this way your immune system learns how to fight the intruder. If you later get Coronavirus, your body makes the correct antibodies to kill the virus before you become seriously ill.
Is the vaccine safe?
Yes, the vaccine is approved by all manufacturers and inspection authorities involved, and it has been extensively tested and rigorously assessed.
What is actually in the vaccine?
The vaccine contains hereditary material from the coronavirus (RNA). It also contains fat molecules in which the RNA is packaged, salts and sugar. While the salts imitate the environment of the cells in our body, the sugars protect the vaccine against freezing.
What side effects can I expect?
These are roughly the same side effects as from the flu shot. They usually last one to two days. The GGD Drenthe lists them as follows:
– Pain in the spot where the vaccination occurred (75%)
– Headache (39%)
– Fatigue (37%)
– Muscle pain (25%)
– Fever (8%)
Where can I report side effects?
This can be done at the side effects center Lareb, or to your GP.
I have a predisposition for allergies. Can I get vaccinated?
In rare cases, the vaccination can lead to an allergic shock reaction. If you are allergic, you must report this before you are vaccinated, because other vaccines, such as the Moderna version, are considered ‘safer’ for those with allergies. This also applies if you suffer from an (auto) immune disease.
I am pregnant. Can I get vaccinated?
No. According to the Health Council, pregnant women are not eligible. You have to postpone the vaccination until after the pregnancy.
I am on blood thinners. Can I get vaccinated?
If you have a disease that makes your blood clot less well or do you use blood thinners, talk to your doctor before getting vaccinated.
Can I get my children vaccinated?
No, the vaccine is only intended for people 18 and older. It has not been tested on children.
I have been vaccinated, but I got infected anyway. Can I infect others?
Little is known about this, but if you know that you are infected, you should stay at home, even though you have been vaccinated, because the vaccine does not offer 100 percent protection. You could still infect other people.
I’ve already had Coronavirus. Should I still get vaccinated now?
Yes. You have to, because if you’ve had the Coronavirus you can become infected again. Not all patients build up enough natural protection to prevent re-infection.
I’m afraid of the pain/the needs. Can I get an anesthetic?
No, unfortunately that is not possible.
How can I prove that I have been vaccinated?
You will be included in the national vaccination register CoronIT. You will also receive a card with the brand of vaccine, the date of the injection, and a QR code with a link to the package leaflet.
Is that card proof that I have been vaccinated?
Yes, and you can also ask for a letter with the registration. But that does not provide additional freedoms. The Health Council will issue an advisory report in a few weeks. The government wants to know how to deal with a society that is partly vaccinated and partly unvaccinated.
Why am I listed in a register?
The government wants to know which people have been vaccinated and which vaccine they have received. This is necessary to measure vaccination coverage and effectiveness.
When is it my turn? This is the planning of the vaccination campaign
The following infographic shows predicted vaccination dates, and the group of people they are for
I do not want to wait. Can I buy a vaccination myself?
No, that is not possible.
When is everyone vaccinated?
The Health Ministry thinks that we will be about ready by the end of September, provided all vaccines are approved and delivered on time.
The article source can be found here.
Header image via Pixabay