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

Here’s how tech can help governments fight corruption

Khashoggi trial in Saudi Arabia falls short of independent, international probe needed: UN rights chief

Mobile technology saving lives: Changing healthcare systems with simple technology solutions

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Venezuela-Colombia baby breakthrough, Italy piles on rescue boat pressure, States must combat hate, Kashmir rights latest and a musical plea to combat CAR hunger

Climate change will force us to redefine economic growth

This AI can predict your personality just by looking at your eyes

Northern Ireland: Parliament wants to secure post-Brexit regional funding

UN launches Facebook Messenger-powered bot to take on climate change

Keeping cool in the face of climate change

‘Favour dialogue’ over violence, UN chief urges all parties following clashes in Mali’s capital

Building climate resilience and peace, go hand in hand for Africa’s Sahel – UN forum

Being blinded by labels stops social change. Art helps us see a better future

Here’s why upskilling is crucial to drive the post-COVID recovery

UN, African Union make significant joint commitment to global health

Protecting refugees in Europe: UNHCR calls for a ‘year of change’

Yemen: UN envoy asks Security Council for more support ‘to move back’ to the negotiating table

Is the EU denying its social character favouring a banking conglomerate?

UN rights chief Bachelet appeals for dialogue in Sudan amid reports ‘70 killed’ in demonstrations

How the US should react to the pandemic, according to Bill Gates

One million facing food shortages, nutrition crisis after Mozambique cyclones: UNICEF

4 ways Africa can prepare its youth for the digital economy

UN agencies launch emergency plan for millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants

Do doctors need to know their patients’ sexual orientation and gender identity?

The next 48 hours may change the European Union

The UK referendum has already damaged Europe: even a ‘remain’ result is not without cost to Britain and the EU

Mali facing ‘alarming’ rise in rights violations, warns UN expert

A European Discovers China: 3 First Impressions

5 things to know about African migration

MWC 2016 LIVE: GTI shifts to phase two – 5G – after hitting milestones

If we want to solve climate change, water governance is our blueprint

Minsk “ceasefire” leaves more doubts than safety, with EU already planning steps further

Trade: First year of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement shows growth in EU exports

Electronic Cigarettes: Are they really as safe as we think?

UN and African Union in ‘common battle’ for development and climate change financing

Parallel downfalls of Merkel and Deutsche Bank threaten Germany and Europe

For video game addiction, now read official ‘gaming disorder’: World Health Organization

A new proposal breaks the stalemate over the Banking Union

To Brexit, or not to Brexit…rather not: 10 Downing Street, London

AI can be a game-changer for the world’s forests. Here’s how

What young people can teach world leaders about mental health in 2020

How can you or your organization support the Hour of Pride initiative?

Why do humanitarian crises disproportionately affect women?

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

Uzbekistan wins its long fight against malaria, as global rates continue to rise

Clean air is good for business

These are the world’s 20 most dynamic cities

Making the most of the Sustainable Development Goal 3: its overlooked role in medical education

Capital transaction tax on Ecofin table

International Women’s Day 2019: more equality, but change is too slow

An all-out fight for the EU budget

World Digital Media Awards winners announced at WNMC.19 in Glasgow, in association with The European Sting

Millennials (and Gen X) – Here are the steps you should take to secure your financial future

Forget GDP – for the 21st century we need a modern growth measure

David Attenborough’s worried about this ocean threat – and it’s not plastic

Is this the way to finally beat corruption?

80 adolescents a day will still die of AIDS by 2030, despite slowdown in epidemic

UN ceasefire monitoring chief tours Yemeni port of Hudaydah

DR Congo elections: ‘historic opportunity’ for ‘peaceful transfer of power’ says Security Council

Consumers’ rights against defective digital content agreed by EU lawmakers

Parliament mobilised to channel EU funds to those affected by Coronavirus pandemic

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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