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 Milestone

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


At Davos, UN chief urges ‘big emitters’ to take climate action

In Bahrain, Global Forum for Entrepreneurs and Investment examines empowerment of women, youth through innovation

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: UN Secretary-General Announces “Climate Action 2016” Partnership

‘Repeated attacks’ could close down key hospital in eastern Libya, says WHO

UN chief highlights action across borders for ‘stable and prosperous Eurasia’

Half the world’s population is still offline. Here’s why that matters

Here’s why China’s trade deal with Mauritius matters

Bangladesh, South Africa and Bolivia all beat the US for women’s representation in politics

Climate change and its adverse impacts on health

Autonomous vehicles could clog city centres: a lesson from Boston

Speeches of Vice Premier LIU He and Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen at the Press Conference of the Seventh China-EU High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue

Time to make a fundamental choice about the future of healthcare

Thinking throughout HIV: changing a perspective

OECD Steel Committee concerned about excess capacity in steel sector

Building a European Health Union: Stronger crisis preparedness and response for Europe

4 rules to stop governments misusing COVID-19 tech after the crisis

Syrian Government’s ‘different understanding’ of UN role, a ‘very serious challenge’ – Special Envoy

Illicit trade endangers the environment, the law and the SDGs. We need a global response

LGBTQ+: The social evolution of a minority

Seaweed, enzymes and compostable cups: Can ‘Big Food’ take on plastic and win?

Coronavirus: the Commission mobilises all of its resources to protect lives and livelihoods

The EU prepares for the end of LIBOR: the Commission welcomes the agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council on financial benchmarks

Our healthcare systems are ailing. Here’s how to make them better

Hiring more female leaders is good for profits. Here’s the evidence

Which countries get the most sleep – and how much do we really need?

Cancer research put at risk by General Data Protection Regulation? The possible dangers of a data privacy EU mania

Finland has just published everyone’s taxes on ‘National Jealousy Day’

Fighting against the Public Health System dismantling means guaranteeing assistance to all

8th Euronest Assembly: the future of relations with Eastern partners

Germany may prove right rejecting Commission’s bank resolution scheme

Parliament criticises Council’s rejection of money laundering blacklist

Revamp collective bargaining to prevent rising labour market inequalities in rapidly changing world of work

Summer pause gives time to rethink Eurozone’s problems

China in my eyes

Why 2020 will see the birth of the ‘trust economy’

Costa Rica is one of the world’s happiest countries. Here’s what it does differently

Providing mental health during pandemic times

Four ways Artificial Intelligence can make healthcare more efficient and affordable

Closing the gaps in accelerating women’s rights: the role of medical students

Does Draghi have another ace up his sleeve given his Quantitative Easing failure?

Youth Internationalization: part of everyday life in JADE

The link between air pollution and COVID-19 deaths

Execution of juvenile offender in Iran ‘deeply distressing’ – UN rights chief

Protecting farmers and quality products: vote on EU farm policy reform plans

What’s needed to ensure maternal health for women in vulnerable populations

Historical success for the First ever European Presidential Debate

Trump declares emergency and WHO urges speed – latest coronavirus updates

Joint U.S.-EU Statement following President Juncker’s visit to the White House

10 months were not enough for the EU to save the environment but 2 days are

European Junior Enterprises to address the significant skills mismatch in the EU between school and employment

Schools must look to the future when connecting students to the internet

The European Sting’s 2018 in most critical review

Mental health in midst of a pandemic: can we help?

EU ready to relinquish its internal tax havens

Why youth unemployment is so difficult to counter

‘Maintain calm’ and ‘exercise patience’ UN envoy urges, as Nigeria heads to polls

Why the 21st century’s biggest health challenge is our shared responsibility

Eurozone: Negative statistics bring deflation and recession closer

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