All over the world millions of people are on tenterhooks in anticipation of vaccination against the coronavirus in the not so distant future. In many countries around the world, there are vaccines that have been certified as safe and have been approved by those countries’ health authorities. Simultaneously, there are countless amounts of people that are indecisive as it pertains to the vaccines, due to the fact that while they might indeed want to protect themselves against such a virus, they are also very concerned and even afraid of the possible side effects that these vaccinations could have. Some people are doubtful that the vaccines are in fact safe, given the speed at which they were developed and whether the potential side effects have been studied adequately.
Vaccination Reactions That Are Considered Normal
As with the majority if not all vaccinations, there are reactions that are determined to be quite normal: these could be anything from fever, swelling, redness or some pain around the site of the injection, headaches, fatigue, and aching limbs. These are all considered to be common reactions that could appear within the first couple of days after the vaccine has been injected. These reactions to the vaccine are often quite mild and they normally diminish within a few days. This apparently is evidence that the vaccine is functioning as it should because it has activated the response mechanism of the immune system and the body has started to produce antibodies to fight against the artificial infection created by the vaccine. Consequently, these normal reactions to the vaccinations have been reported as well with persons that have received the vaccines already in circulation for the coronavirus, namely, AstraZeneca, BioNTech-Pfizer, and Moderna.
Severe Side Effects That Rarely Occur
Additionally, there are also a few cases of persons suffering from serious side effects after receiving the vaccination, for example, allergic shocks, which apparently was reported in great detail, however, the cases are isolated.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), European Medicines Agency (EMA), and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the vaccines that have been agreed upon are safe, or else they would have not approved them.
The Messenger RNA vaccines or mRNA as they are called are the newest type of vaccines on the market and these are different from the initial vaccines, as they do not contain the killed or weakened virus. What they do have is a blueprint for a section of the coronavirus pathogen. There is also another type of vaccine called vector vaccines which utilizes innocuous adenoviruses, for example, cold viruses that are known to only affect chimpanzees, as vessels to deliver the surface protein of SARS-CoV-2, the spike protein, into the bloodstream to activate the immune system response.
The BioNTech-Pfizer Vaccine
Reports are that during the approval phase of this vaccine that was developed by Germany’s BioNTech and United States’ Pfizer, there were no severe side effects of the vaccination. The more common reactions, for example, headaches and fatigue were occurring less frequently and weaker in patients that were older.
Nevertheless, since the introduction of this mRNA vaccine, a few individuals reported serious allergic reactions to the injection immediately afterward. Two patients in the United Kingdom and one in the United States reportedly had an anaphylactic shock, which was accompanied by shortness of breath and reddening of the skin. As these individuals have no record of previous illnesses or allergic reactions to ingredients within the vaccine, a warning was broadcasted advising persons that had previous allergic reactions to particular ingredients in vaccines, or who had previously suffered an anaphylactic shock, not to take the vaccination.
Manufacturers of this vaccination do not believe that there is any evidence to directly connect the vaccination to the United States doctor’s case, with no illnesses prior, that died from a hemorrhaging of the brain to immune thrombocytopenia some sixteen days subsequent to receiving the vaccination. This is an occurrence of the immune system decreasing the number of platelets.
In Norway, it made national and international headlines when thirty-three individuals passed away just days after receiving the first vaccination, each of them was above the age of seventy-five years old and possessed underlying diseases. Despite the fact BioNTech and Pfizer are investigating these cases, the health authority in Norway has altered the instructions that we issued for the vaccination of the elderly or aged adults against the coronavirus. It should be noted that going forward doctors are the ones to make the decisions whether the advantages of the vaccination overshadow the risks of the side effects.
The Moderna Vaccine
mRNA-1273 is a vaccine coming out of the United States’ company Moderna, is also a gene-based vaccine that is comparable in principle to the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine. Participants during the trials of this vaccination reportedly endured the vaccine quite well, as reported by the manufacturers and the authority with responsibility for testing. The common side effect reactions were stated as moderate or mild and were not long-lasting. On the other hand, just about ten percent of those that were vaccinated with mRNA-1273 suffered from lethargy, as stated by an independent surveillance panel interim report.
Some receivers of the Moderna vaccine experienced an allergic reaction and a minor number of those individuals suffered from facial nerve paralysis. However, there is still uncertainty as to whether these reactions are definitely associated with the key ingredient of the mRNA-1273. It has been suggested that the reactions were not activated by the mRNA, but rather by lipid nanoparticles that function as vehicles for the mRNA to be then broken down by the body.
The AstraZeneca Vaccine
This is a vector vaccine that was developed by a British-Swedish company called AstraZeneca, which suffered an incident during the period of the trials in September 2020, where an individual experienced inflammation of the spinal cord after receiving the vaccination. This resulted in the clinical trial being halted for a short time, while an independent expert panel determined whether the vaccination has any association with the inflammation.
Besides this incident, only common vaccination reactions, for example, muscle pain, injection site pain, fatigue, and headaches were experienced with the AstraZeneca vaccine. The reactions were occurring less frequently and were weaker in the elderly.