The human race throughout its existence has never been spared from catastrophic pandemics. From the bubonic plagues that plunged Europe into the Dark Ages to the Spanish flu and SARS that devastated many South East Asian livelihoods, the world today is faced with the ghastly COVID-19. No matter how much scientific progress in #vaccines has kept us ahead of historically fatal diseases such as malaria and polio, the birth of such colossal diseases, has spotlighted practitioners of medical biotechnology like never before. With the world harping on their backs for an accelerated healthcare delivery solution for quality living, even with the arrival of vaccines, many are left in a limbo. The challenge: Vaccine to take or not to take?
Perhaps, the answer to this million-dollar question lies not in the simplicity of a Yes or No but rather on the seesaw of Risks versus Benefits by agreeing to be injected with the #COVID-19 vaccine. What are the checklists of questions to ponder before decision-making? What if the government makes it mandatory, how can we be prepared mentally and physically? Learn more from our 5 learning bites in the race of vaccinations.
I hope my allergies don’t act up
Allergies come in all forms and vaccinations are not spared. From summer’s hay fever to consuming crustacean food, people with allergies can still register for the COVID-19 vaccine. The risk of an allergy can indeed be daunting but weigh that against severe medical complications of not opting into the vaccine, you would probably conclude that much has been lost already in the past year. Ready to throw caution to the wind? Those with extreme allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to any component of the COVID-19 vaccine or injectable (intramuscular or intravenous) medication should not opt-in to take the vaccine before further discussions with trusted #healthcare professionals.
There is beauty in the madness of becoming a parent
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has formally stated that COVID-19 vaccine should not be discounted from pregnant or breastfeeding #mothers. COVID-19 can cause severe medical complications and lead to many fatalities even amongst toddlers and expectant families. Compare this risk against the knowledge that if you get COVID-19, the domino effect may bring harm to your closest kin. Will you opt-in to self-preservation or edge towards herd immunity? For those below the ages of 18, the collective findings are leaning towards an opt-out of the vaccine which is anyhow still closed-off to children due to the lack of substantial data nor stamp of approval from responsible authorities.
Health is not valued until sickness comes
As a sufferer of Lyme disease or Lupus along with other heart conditions, it is no wonder you could be wary about opting in for the vaccination. Albeit thorough efficacy and safety data are not yet announced regarding long-term effects on people with immunosuppression due to medications or chronic #illness, patients of autoimmune conditions or who are immunocompromised can indeed still register themselves for the vaccination. The risk to duly note here would be the post care after doses of vaccinations e.g. Observe a 30-minute waiting period after the vaccination or seek counselling on how to cope in the eventuality of reduced immune responses and weigh the benefits and risks with your trusted healthcare aid.
The best view comes after the hardest climb
The acceleration in researching for the vaccine have long been questionable in every possible tangent from ethics to distribution. Until today, it is not substantially evident that antibodies that were developed in bid to fight against COVID-19 within a sufferer is effective or at what level of antibodies are actually mandatory to protect against a second reinfection. With that, even those that were harmed by the #disease can indeed opt-in for the vaccination. The guidelines to observe do entail that for Dose #1, you can opt-in to be vaccinated four weeks after onset of symptoms or a positive test (whichever is earlier). Whilst, for Dose #2, you may be vaccinated after you have completed your isolation period as stipulated within your respective country’s isolation guidelines with no fever and an improvement in symptoms.
Knowing safety is not enough, practice it
You could be tempted to think you’re out of the woods post-vaccination, think again! It is essential that everyone continues practicing the prescribed 3Cs and 3Ws for the rest of their lives not just against COVID-19 but against any other unfounded diseases. As a friendly reminder, practice the following:
- Wear face mask
- Wash your hands with soap and water (20 seconds) or sanitise regularly
- Warn against greeting each other by shaking hands nor attend events when unwell
- Close conversations are not encouraged
- Confined spaces to be compliant to socially distanced guidelines otherwise refrained
- Crowded places to be avoided altogether
Interested to become the future of better healthcare? The International Medical University in Malaysia (IMU) is offering up to 100% Bursary & Scholarship for Foundation In Science (FiS) programme. Kickstart your journey at IMU, the first Malaysian university to incorporate the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). This 28-year old institution provider of health education offers a wide plethora of programmes including the robust curriculum of Medical Biotechnology which teaches and prepares students to apply current biotechnology techniques in real world settings of the #NextNormal.