COVID-19 Vaccine Questions & Answers

Public Health Department Saba and Saba Health Care Foundation created a survey to get feedback on issues related to the upcoming vaccination against the Covid-19 virus.  They thank those who have filled out their survey. Below answers are provided to the questions that came out multiple times.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine
Everyone is looking forward to living without the COVID-19 measures and restrictions. Vaccination will be a major step towards this goal.
Currently, several vaccines against COVID-19 are being developed, tested, and then reviewed. Only coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines that are safe and effective will be approved. An approved vaccine will then give you the best protection against coronavirus.
Saba will receive vaccinations from The Netherlands. It is not known yet which vaccine will be made available, or how many vaccines Saba will receive. We hope to receive the first shipment of vaccines in February.

Why would I want to be vaccinated?
Getting a vaccine against COVID-19 is a way to protect yourself and your family, friends, and colleagues, as well as any vulnerable people around you. If many people are vaccinated, coronavirus cannot spread unchecked. Fewer measures will then be necessary to ensure the virus is contained.

Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Depending on the number of vaccines Saba receives in the coming period, Saba will follow the advice of The Health Council and prioritize vaccinating the following groups
1. Clients in The Home
2. Healthcare personnel
3. People over 60
4. People with pre-existing health conditions (diabetes; severe heart, lung, or kidney disease; immune deficiency)
After these groups are vaccinated, other adults on Saba can be vaccinated, starting with the older age groups.

Who should not get the COVID-19 vaccine at this moment in time?
The vaccines have been tested on tens of thousands of people. However, for the following groups it has yet to be determined if the vaccine is safe:
• Children and youth under 16 years old
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women
• People with a history of severe allergies
There is no evidence it’s unsafe if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. But more evidence is needed before you can be offered the vaccine.

How is the COVID-19 vaccine given?
The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.
It is given as 2 doses, at least 21 days apart.

How safe is the COVID-19 vaccine?
At the moment only the vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech has received approval for use in the European Union, and hence The Netherlands including Saba. The vaccine developed by Moderna is expected to be reviewed in early January.
For approval, vaccines have to meet strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent European Medicines Agency (EMA)
Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The EMA follows international standards of safety.
Other vaccines are being developed. They will only be available in The Netherlands once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective.
So far, thousands of people have been given a COVID-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare. No long-term complications have been reported.

How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?
After having both doses of the vaccine most people will be protected against coronavirus. It takes a few weeks after getting the 2nd dose for it to work. There is a small chance you might still get coronavirus even if you have the vaccine.

What are known COVID-19 vaccine side effects?
Most side effects are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:
• a sore arm where the needle went in
• feeling tired
• a headache
• feeling achy
You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to.
If you have a high temperature you may have another infection. If your symptoms get worse or you are worried, call Saba Health Care Foundation.

What about Allergic reactions?
Tell healthcare staff before you are vaccinated if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
You should not have the vaccine if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction to medicines, vaccines or food.
If you do have an allergic reaction to the vaccine, it usually happens in minutes. Staff giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.

What are the COVID-19 vaccine ingredients
The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna do not contain any animal products or egg.

 

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