Approaching the challenges of COVID-19 vaccination

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Juwairiah Abdur Raheem, a 3rd year medical student from India. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

A vast majority of people are still vulnerable to the coronavirus and it’s only the current restrictions that’s keeping people safe. A vaccine will prepare the body to effectively fight off the virus which could be encountered later in life. Three things needed for successful implementation of a vaccine program are:

  • Effective vaccine supplies
  • Staff to implement it
  • People to be vaccinated

For a vaccine to show its effect in full swing, it should be accessible to all individuals and available at a reasonable price. The entire process needs to be transparent to gain the confidence of people and also to avoid any corruption in its manufacturing and transport.

Storage, Transport and Distribution

COVID-19 vaccines need cold storage requirements to maintain its potency. Most of the developing countries do not have Cold Chain Equipment that can maintain optimum temperature required for Pfizer-BioNTech. But other COVID-19 vaccines like those produced by Moderna, Sputnik and AstraZeneca-Oxford can be stored at regular refrigerated temperatures. Before shipping it to health care workers, the cold chain plan needs to be assessed and made feasible. It should be transported in vehicles that can maintain optimum temperature with reduced vibrations and shock as these can also decrease vaccine potency. A delay in distributing vaccines will only add to citizen and community suffering. COVAX facility will ensure equitable access and distribution of vaccines. To achieve complete protection, people should be encouraged to take complete doses at instructed time intervals.

Needless to say, the next most important challenge is to convince people about the need to be vaccinated and its positive impact on health.

Busting myths regarding COVID-19 Vaccines

  1. The assumption that COVID-19 vaccines were developed in a short period of time is wrong. The clinical trials which are done to examine the safety and efficacy of the vaccine weren’t rushed at all.
  2. The COVID-19 vaccine just like other vaccines might cause mild symptoms. There is no noted evidence of any irreversible side effect. The small risk of side effects from the vaccine do not outweigh the risk of morbidity and mortality due to the virus itself.
  3. People are hesitant to take the vaccine due to the circulating rumors about the occurrence of abortive fetal cells in them. Special fetal cells for the preparation of vaccines were used long back in the past and are not present in the current vaccines.
  4. You need to be vaccinated, even if you were previously infected with coronavirus, as preliminary evidence suggests that the vaccine provides better protection than infection with the virus itself.

You need to be vaccinated first, to be able to help others. People need to gain knowledge through authentic sources and make decisions based on factual information and not myths. A doctor needs to do his duty by rightfully guiding and clearing the misconceptions regarding the vaccine. A person after being vaccinated, still needs to follow the general preventive measures of social distancing, wearing face mask, hand washing and avoiding crowded places.

About the author

Juwairiah Abdur Raheem is a 3rd year medical student who aims to heal people through her work and words. She is an active member of Medical Students Association of India (MSAI) and has written several articles on COVID-19. She also raises awareness on health topics and educates others through her social media accounts and wishes to bring a positive attitude in people’s perspective.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

COVID-19 pandemic: The war inside our heads

Asking for more restriction on intra EU immigration: Unproductive and politically dangerous

Coronavirus: a Disease that spreads as fastly as its fake news

Can the Tokyo Olympics help bring the world together?

European research priorities for 2021-2027 agreed with member states

The Eurogroup protects Germany and blames others

Myanmar military target civilians in deadly helicopter attack, UN rights office issues war crimes warning

The price of centralization of human resources for health

Children of ISIL terrorists likely held in ‘secret detention facilities’, UN human rights office warns

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

COVID-19 and the pursuit of financial inclusion in Pakistan

Coronavirus: Commission launches data sharing platform for researchers

Infringement – Commission takes Italy to Court for its incomplete regime of access to genetic resources

Human rights champions from across the world receive top UN prize

Germany may have a stable and more cooperative government

How income-sharing agreements can improve access to education

Lagarde discusses the European Central Bank’s policy revamp with MEPs

Macro-Financial Assistance: Europe’s way to control Ukraine?

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

COVID – ACT III, When do I get off the stage?

SRHR and Ending HIV : Can one be achieved without the other ?

Sign language protects ‘linguistic identity and cultural diversity’ of all users, says UN chief

Who really cares about the 26.2 million of EU jobless?

19th EU-China Summit: A historical advance in the Chino-European rapprochement

‘Foreign children’ in overwhelmed Syrian camp need urgent international help, says top UN official

EP survey: EU recovery funds should only go to countries respecting Rule of Law

FROM THE FIELD: West Africa’s wishful gold diggers

Moving from commitment to action on LGBTI equality

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: from cardboard beds to recycled medals, how the Games are going green

Commission’s action plan: financial world mandatory links to environmental targets

Fostering intergenerational solidarity and cooperation through age-friendly environments: the right answer to Europe’s demographic challenge

The Eurogroup+ is born to govern the EU Banking Union

European Youth Forum demands immediate action & binding agreement on climate change

How to create a transparent digital economy and rebuild consumer trust

Coronavirus reinforces the importance of empathy

To all far-right partisans who exploit Charlie Hebdo atrocity: a peaceful reply given by a peaceful student

For how long and at what cost can the ECB continue printing trillions to keep euro area going?

What is the European Super League and how would it work?

State aid: Commission approves German scheme for very high capacity broadband networks in Bavaria

To feed 10 billion people, we must preserve biodiversity. Here’s how

Ramped-up emergency preparedness, part of ‘changing the DNA’ of the UN’s health agency

New Report Offers Global Outlook on Efforts to Beat Plastic Pollution

How African countries can benefit from plan to reform global tax

Destabilizing Lebanon after burning Syria; plotting putsch at home: King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

COVID-19 is an unmissable chance to put people and the planet first

Take care of your borders and then expand them

The Juncker Plan at work: bringing investment back on track in Europe

Africa-Europe Alliance: European Commission committed to a sustainable African agri-food sector

Mindfulness: a freedom we can still have in the pandemic

If you live in a big city you already smoke every day

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2018 review confirms positive trends but highlights challenges, in particular linked to automation and digitalisation

Safer products: EP and Council close deal to beef up checks and inspections

Coronavirus global response: EU Humanitarian Air Bridge to Iraq and new funding

Top UN Syria envoy hails ‘impressive’ start to historic talks in Geneva

UN rights chief slams ‘unconscionable’ US border policy of separating migrant children from parents

EU-US resume trade negotiations under the spell of NSA surveillance

The world’s economy is only 9% circular. We must be bolder about saving resources

How many websites are there?

State aid: Commission approves €650 million Polish support to LOT in context of coronavirus outbreak

Nepal faces a crisis as COVID-19 stems the flow of remittances

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s