Covid-19: Why Matching People with The Right Vaccine is Important 

The vaccination has recently started worldwide in order to tackle Covid-19, which means our lives are likely to get back to normal soon, and we will have the chance to once again spend time with our loved ones whom we have not seen in months. In addition to this, we may get the chance to check out gigs, attend festivals, and all sorts of cultural and social activities that we were forced to avoid since the early months of 2020. However, even though the rollout of vaccines  have begun, I think people  need additional information in regards to the  vaccines.

Their side-effects on each individual vary which means that in order to understand how important it is to match people with the right vaccine. As Fred Sheedy suggests in his article in The Irish Times, the one-size-fits-all approach may not be the best way, if we intend to reach mass immunisation rapidly. That is why I decided to gather information on Covid-19 vaccines, primarily about the ones that are currently available or will be available in Ireland soon to give people a short overview of the possible side-effects that may occur after being vaccinated.

According to the report of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA), the common side-effects are the following: 

On The Arm Where You Got The First Shot

    1. Redness
    2. Swelling
    3. Pain

Throughout The Rest of Your Body

  1. Tiredness
  2. Headache
  3. Muscle Pain
  4. Chills
  5. Fever
  6. Nausea

When You Receive the Second Shot
The second dose of vaccines is expected to bring you more intense side effects, however, there is no reason to fear the side-effects usually disappear within a few days. Side-effects are actually  signals that the immune system of the individual begins to build up protection against Covid-19. Although those who still suffer from these side effects after several days  should call their GP and seek medical advice.

This is one of those vaccines that are authorised for usage by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) within the European Union and therefore in Ireland as well. Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is mRNA-based and targets the Sars-Cov-2 virus, providing people with approximately 91.5% protection against Covid-19. It has been developed in Germany by BioNTech which teamed up with an American company Pfizer for support with clinical trials, logistics and manufacturing. Experts have been stating this vaccineis high quality and safe to use since the beginning of clinical trials. However, even in the case of this vaccine, side effects are likely to occur after vaccination and people must be informed of them.

The Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca its brand names Covishield and Vaxzevria. It is a viral vector vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19. It is given by intramuscular injection, using as a vector the modified chimpanzee adenovirus ChAdOx1.The efficacy of the vaccine is 76.0% at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 beginning at 22 days following the first dose and 81.3% after the second dose.



It has been developed by the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and Moderna. It is administered by two 0.5 ml doses given by intramuscular injection given four weeks apart. This is an RNA vaccine composed of nucleoside-modified mRNA (modRNA) encoding a spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, which is encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles. Along with the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, it was one of the two RNA vaccines developed and deployed in 2020 against COVID‑19. On 18 December 2020, mRNA-1273 was issued an Emergency Use Authorization by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Additionally, later it was first authorized for use in Canada on 23 December 2020, in Israel on 5 January 2021, in the European Union on 6 January 2021, in the United Kingdom on 8 January 2021, and in Singapore on 3 February 2021.

Johnson & Johnson
It is a COVID-19 vaccine that was developed by Janssen Vaccines in Leiden, Netherlands, and its Belgian parent company Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of American company Johnson & Johnson. It is a viral vector vaccine based on a human adenovirus that has been modified to contain the gene for making the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. The body’s immune system responds to this spike protein to produce antibodies. The vaccine requires only one dose and does not need to be stored frozen. These are the significant facts that might make this new vaccine widely used in the near future. Clinical trials for the vaccine were started in June 2020, with Phase III trials involving around 43,000 people. On 29 January 2021, Janssen announced that 28 days after a completed vaccination, the vaccine was 66% effective in a one-dose regimen in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, with an 85% efficacy in preventing severe COVID-19, and 100% efficacy in preventing hospitalisation or death caused by the disease.

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Credit: quapan

Things to Keep in Mind When Being Offered a Vaccine
The rollouts of multiple kinds of vaccines against Covid-19 might give citizens the opportunity to pick vaccines, which would be essential considering the fact that the previously mentioned side-effects might occur that in rare cases can be severe. For instance, even though Astra-Zeneca has been examined and claimed to be safe and effective, there is uncertainty and doubts that have been ongoing regarding the blood clots cases that might have been caused by this particular vaccine. It is highly recommended to consult with your doctor before receiving the first jab of any kind of vaccine. Fred Sheedy’s article at Irish Times also speaks of the importance of matching people with the right vaccine. Besides age, there are other factors that must be taken into account, for instance, gender and pre-existing health conditions. Furthermore, people with allergies must be extremely cautious about it as well. It is also another reason to consult with your GP.

Soon to Be Out of The Woods
The pandemic has been going for over a year now but the rollouts of the above-mentioned vaccines light up the sparks of hope. Presumably, we will be out of the woods soon and the possibility of mass immunisation is on the horizon. But at the same time, as previously stated, people should stay alert and cautious, and pay attention to gathering valid information from reliable sources. Furthermore, we must keep up the collective thinking, it is the only way to take care of each other and ourselves as well. Our normal lives will return soon like a swift sunrise, we only need to hold on a little longer.

Aron Debreceni
Aron Debreceni

Aron is a journalist and a student of Utrecht University (NL). He has been doing his own singer-songwriter project 'Aron D' since 2016. Besides music, he is open to write articles about politics, education, health, history and travel.

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