What Are The Side Effects Of Vaccines
Most of the side effects associated with vaccines are minor, and usually go away within a few days.
The most common* side effects of almost all vaccines are:
- redness, swelling and tenderness at the injection site
- headache, tiredness and nausea.
Vomiting, diarrhoea, and muscle or joint pain, occur less frequently*Common: 1 to 10 in every 100 people will experience these side effects.
What Are The Differences Between Active And Passive Immunity
- Active immunity takes some time to develop, usually as a response to receiving the vaccine. Passive immunity comes immediately upon transfer.
- Passive immunity is not permanent and may last for a certain limited period of time. Active immunity is longer-lasting and is either permanent or lasts a long time until a subsequent booster shot is needed.
- In passive immunity, the antibodies comes from outside the body. In active immunity, the antibodies come from within the body in response to the introduction of another substance.
- Passive immunity is usually artificially induced.
Who Can Take The Covid
- Pfizer: 16+
- Moderna: 18+
- AstraZeneca: 18+
While Canada is on track to have tens of millions of doses available to Canadians this year, not everyone who may want the vaccine will be able to take it.
Pfizers clinical trials were only conducted on those over the age of 16, which means that until further studies are completed in younger age groups, anyone under 16 years old is ineligible for the jab. The same issue comes into play for both Moderna and AstraZeneca, which only conducted their clinical trials on Canadians over the age of 18.
Moderna is currently conducting additional studies in children over 12 years old, so teens may be able to access the jabs once that work is done.
However, age isnt the only limitation those hoping to be vaccinated may face. Anyone who is allergic to the ingredients in the vaccines is not allowed to receive the injections, and pregnant or breastfeeding mothers have been asked to consult their doctors before moving ahead with their vaccinations.
Finally, if you have COVID-19, you cant get the vaccine until youre better.
Don’t Miss: Can Shingles Vaccine And Pneumonia Vaccine Be Given Together
Vaccine Development And Approval
Just like any medication or procedure, no vaccine can be 100% safe or effective for everyone because each person’s body can react differently. While minor side effects, such as soreness or low grade fever, are relatively common, serious side effects are very rare and occur in about 1 out of every 100,000 vaccinations and typically involve allergic reactions that can cause hives or difficulty breathing. However, vaccines are the safest they ever have been in history and each vaccine undergoes rigorous clinical trials to ensure their safety and efficacy before approval by authorities such as the US FDA.
Prior to human testing, vaccines are tested on cell cultures and the results modelled to assess how they will interact with the immune system. During the next round of testing, researchers study vaccines in animals, including mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, and monkeys. Vaccines that pass each of these stages of testing are then approved by the public health safety authority to start a three-phase series of human testing, advancing to higher phases only if they are deemed safe and effective at the previous phase. The people in these trials participate voluntarily and are required to prove they understand the purpose of the study and the potential risks.
Continue Learning About Vaccines & Immunizations
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
Recommended Reading: Can A Business Ask For Proof Of Vaccination
How Were The Different Omicron Strains Discovered
A team of Queensland scientists known as the forensic scientific services conducted extensive testing on the South African man.
This resulted in the international committee identifying the Omicron-like strain and reclassifying the main Omicron variant.
“They recognised there are differences between the full and normal Omicron classification, passed it on to the international committee in a really quick time frame,” Dr Aitken said.
How Does Vaccination Work
A healthy immune system defends against invaders. The immune system is composed of several types of cells. These cells defend against and remove harmful pathogens. However, they have to recognize that an invader is dangerous.
Vaccination teaches the body to recognize new diseases. It stimulates the body to make antibodies against antigens of pathogens. It also primes immune cells to remember the types of antigens that cause infection. That allows for a faster response to the disease in the future.
Vaccines work by exposing you to a safe version of a disease. This can take the form of:
- a protein or sugar from the makeup of a pathogen
- a dead or inactivated form of a pathogen
- a toxoid containing toxin made by a pathogen
- a weakened pathogen
When the body responds to the vaccine, it builds an adaptive immune response. This helps equip the body to fight off an actual infection.
Vaccines are usually given by injection. Most vaccines contain two parts. The first is the antigen. This is the piece of the disease your body must learn to recognize. The second is the adjuvant.
The adjuvant sends a danger signal to your body. It helps your immune system to respond more strongly against the antigen as an infection. This helps you develop immunity.
Vaccines are very important for infants, but theyre not all given immediately after birth. Each vaccine is given on a timeline, and some require multiple doses. This table can help you understand the timeline of each vaccine:
|Name of Vaccine|
Read Also: What Is Abbreviation For Meningococcal Vaccine
Why Are Vaccines Important
Vaccines are important because they protect you against many diseases. These diseases can be very serious. So getting immunity from a vaccine is safer than getting immunity by being sick with the disease. And for a few vaccines, getting vaccinated can actually give you a better immune response than getting the disease would.
But vaccines don’t just protect you. They also protect the people around you through community immunity.
Is Natural Immunity Safer Than Covid Vaccines
Some people may feel that it is safer to develop immunity to COVID-19 by catching the virus, rather than being vaccinated, due to the reported side effects from the vaccine. However, while many unvaccinated people who catch coronavirus are only mildly sick or have no symptoms at all , some people can fall seriously ill.
Older people and those with underlying health conditions are more at risk of ending up in hospital with COVID-19, but even healthy younger people can become seriously ill or die from the disease. A recent study from the US showed that unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than those who have been vaccinated.
We also know that up to one in 20 people with COVID-19 end up having symptoms for 12 weeks or more , which can have a big impact on health and quality of life. And unvaccinated people can spread the virus to others, putting them at risk too.
After-effects like having a sore arm or cold-like symptoms are common after having a COVID-19 jab. However, more serious or life-threatening side effects such as allergic reactions, blood clots or heart inflammation are extremely rare, as are deaths due to the vaccine .
âWe can definitely say that the safest way to become immune to COVID is to be vaccinated rather than catching the virus,â says Mike.
âThe data overwhelmingly shows that you are at far greater risk of being seriously ill, suffering long-term symptoms or dying compared with any rare side effects from vaccination.â
Also Check: Can You Get The Meningitis Vaccine Twice
What Kind Of Vaccine Is The Flu Vaccine
Since we are in the midst of flu season , you may also be wondering where the flu vaccine falls in all this. The shot version uses an inactivated virus or single protein from the flu virus, and essentially does the same thing as the Covid-19 vaccines mentioned above: It introduces your body to parts of different flu viruses. This puts your immune system on the defensive to help rid your body of this foreign substance. Antibodies are made, and then offer protection down the line. The tricky thing about the flu vaccines effectiveness is that it is going to vary from season to season because there are different types or the virus that circulate each year. So medical experts never know exactly which will hit us and often are making highly-educated guesstimations.
The most important takeaway from all of this? Protection against the Covid-19 is key. All of these types of vaccines are just different routes to get your body to protect you.
Who Should Not Get Pneumovax 23 Or Prevnar 13
Children younger than 2 years of age should not get Pneumovax 23. In addition, while there is no evidence that Pneumovax 23 is harmful to pregnant women or their babies, as a precaution, women who need Pneumovax 23 should get it before becoming pregnant, if possible.
Before you get either Prevnar 13 or Pneumovax 23, tell your health provider if you have had any life-threatening allergic reaction to or have a severe allergy to pneumococcal vaccines or any vaccine containing diphtheria toxoid . Also, tell your health provider if you are not feeling well. If you have a minor illness like a cold, you can probably still get vaccinated, but if you have a more serious illness, you should probably wait until you recover.
Read Also: When Is Pneumonia Vaccine Given
So What Is The Difference Between The Two
A Covid-19 booster is given when a person has completed their vaccine series, and protection against the virus has decreased over time. Depending on the original series you had, some details will vary.
An additional dose, however, is administered to people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems. This additional dose is intended to improve immunocompromised peoples response to their initial vaccine series. Experts say that offering such beneficiaries a third dose could help them match up an immune response similar to generalized, healthy populations.
Third Covid-19 doses are thus offered to those with immune vulnerabilities, which could possibly include cancer patients , or those who have received an organ transplant. These can only be offered on a case-by-case basis, and may not exactly be subject to public rollout.
How Many Doses Of Each Covid
- Pfizer: two
- Moderna: two
- AstraZeneca: two
Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZenecas vaccines are all two-dose shots leaving little room for relief for those Canadians who get sweaty palms at the very thought of needles.
Some, including the head of Ontarios vaccine rollout Gen. Rick Hillier, have pushed for Moderna to be approved as a single-dose vaccine, as the jab has proven to be about 80 per cent effective after the first injection.
However, no clinical trials have been conducted to prove whether that inoculation lasts long-term and Moderna hasnt shown any interest in conducting further trials to determine if less effective, one-time vaccine is a safe and effective option.
Recommended Reading: Is There A Vaccine To Prevent Hiv
Vaccines And Immunization: What Is Vaccination
Vaccination is a simple, safe, and effective way of protecting you against harmful diseases, before you come into contact with them. It uses your bodys natural defenses to build resistance to specific infections and makes your immune system stronger.
Vaccines train your immune system to create antibodies, just as it does when its exposed to a disease. However, because vaccines contain only killed or weakened forms of germs like viruses or bacteria, they do not cause the disease or put you at risk of its complications.
Most vaccines are given by an injection, but some are given orally or sprayed into the nose.
Vaccines reduce risks of getting a disease by working with your bodys natural defenses to build protection. When you get a vaccine, your immune system responds. It:
Recognizes the invading germ, such as the virus or bacteria.
Produces antibodies. Antibodies are proteins produced naturally by the immune system to fight disease.
Remembers the disease and how to fight it. If you are then exposed to the germ in the future, your immune system can quickly destroy it before you become unwell.
The vaccine is therefore a safe and clever way to produce an immune response in the body, without causing illness.
If you have missed any recommended vaccinations for you or your child, talk to your healthcare worker about catching up.
How Are The Covid
- Pfizer: -70°C
- Moderna: -25°C to -15°C
- AstraZeneca: 2°C to 8°C
Just like people, some of these vaccines are pickier than others about the temperature they like to hang around in.
Of the three vaccines, Pfizer is the most particular and it likes things chilly. This vaccine requires ultra-cold storage, meaning it has to be transported and stored at -70 C. This makes the vaccine tricky to ship to remote regions, where the appropriate infrastructure is far more difficult to set up.
Enter the Moderna vaccine, which is a little less discerning. While this vaccine still likes the cold, it isnt quite as particular as the Pfizer jab. The Moderna doses can be stored in a freezer between -25 C and -15 C. Thats why the territories have been guaranteed priority access to this particular vaccine, as its much easier to safely transport and store.
This category is also where AstraZenecas vaccine truly shines. The doses can be stored at normal fridge temperature meaning the doses are much easier to both ship and keep.
Read Also: Where Do I Get Vaccinations For Travel
Potential Risks Of Antibodies
Antibodies provide many benefits. They eliminate infections and provide protective immunity against future infections.
However, in rare circumstances, antibodies might actually worsen an infection. For example, antibodies might bind to a virus in such a way that makes it easier to enter cells.
This might mean that if a person is re-infected after an initial mild infection, they could then have a more severe case the second time. Or, it theoretically might mean that a person could have a worse response to potential infection if they have previously been vaccinated for the disease.
This scenario has been called antibody-dependent enhancement. It has been found in viruses such as dengue. In that virus, it complicated the creation of successful vaccines.
Because researchers were aware of this theoretical possibility, they have been looking very carefully to see whether this might be possible in COVID-19.
However, no signs of antibody-dependent enhancement have been found in COVID-19.
In fact, more than 166 million Americans are fully vaccinated, and the vaccines have been very effective at preventing infection and severe illness. “Breakthrough” cases occur in only a small percentage of vaccinated people.
Time will also tell how immunity and the antibody response change over time. This will help determine when booster vaccines will be necessary.
What Does Immunize Mean
Immunize means to make immune or to render harmless or ineffective neutralize. Immunize is a verb based on the adjective immune, which is also used in the name of the immune system. If someone is immune to something, they have protection against it and cant be affected by it. The noun immunity means that someone or something is immune to something.
In medicine, we describe a person as being immune to a disease. This means that the body is able to quickly recognize a disease and produce molecules known as antibodies to fight against it. Antibodies act like bodyguards of your, well, body and kill any disease that would try to harm it.
Vaccination is directly related to immunization when it comes to the human body. Some vaccines cause the body to be immune to a disease for a very long time. Others, such as the tetanus vaccine, only lead to a temporary immunity after which the body forgets how to make certain antibodies. In this case, doctors recommend getting a booster shot, which is a follow-up shot designed to boost or renew a persons immunity gained from an earlier vaccine.
Recommended Reading: How Often Do You Get Pneumonia 23 Vaccine
Results Are Better Than Expected
Another small South African study has delivered cautious yet positive results.
The scientists involved concluded that the Omicron variant can somewhat evade the Pfizer jab. However, Professor Alex Sigal, a virologist at the Africa Health Research Institute, who led the research, tweeted a link to the research with optimism.
He confirmed that the variant escape from the vaccine was incomplete, and told his followers: Just be be clear on something this was better than I expected of Omicron.
Following the research, Dr Mike Ryan, from the World Health Organisation, told the AFP news agency: We have highly effective vaccines that have proved effective against all the variants so far, in terms of severe disease and hospitalisation, and theres no reason to expect that it wouldnt be so .
Severe Vaccine Reactions Onset Interval And Rates Associated With Selected Childhood Vaccines
* Reactions do not occur if already immune children > 6 years unlikely to have febrile seizures.
** VAPP risk higher for first dose , and for adults and immunocompromised patients.
*** Seizures are mostly febrile. The risk of having a seizure depends on the persons age. The risk is much lower in infants < 4 months of age.
Recommended Reading: Does The Hpv Vaccine Prevent Genital Warts