INNOCULATION

Despite side effects, Covid vaccination only way out of pandemic

The effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines will only be realised when all receive a jab against the virus.

In Summary

• AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson have been reported to cause blood clot as a side effect.

• Of course, this outweighs their intended benefits, but it is scary to the laggards who are late adaptors.  

Vials labelled with broken sticker "AstraZeneca COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and a broken syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken March 15, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Vials labelled with broken sticker "AstraZeneca COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and a broken syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken March 15, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Covid-19 lockdowns, curfews and other restrictions put in place to help contain the spread of the Covid-19 have devastated lives of Kenyans and across whole world.

Many Kenyans have lost their source of livelihood, and some of those in urban areas have opted to move to their rural areas as it has become hard to put food on the table with the prices of common commodities skyrocketing.

The economic stability of the country is being threatened as it is becoming difficult for the government to sustain its expenditure as its revenue has sunk. Countries all over the world are also experiencing the hard economic times.

Countries are now grappling with vaccinating their populations. Among the vaccines approved by the World Health Organization include Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. More are under consideration for approval.

AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson have been reported to cause blood clot as a side effect. Of course, this outweighs their intended benefits, but it is scary to the laggards who are late adaptors.  This explains the slow uptake of the vaccines in Kenya and other countries. In some countries, the vaccines have been temporarily stopped following the few reported cases.

It is being said that Africa has not been hard hit by the pandemic as compared to others such as Asia, Europe, North America and South America due to her normal vaccination routines. This has boosted the immune system of her populations.

The effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines will only be realised when all receive a jab against the virus.  Vaccines save lives and this has been seen in Africa. A good example is the “Kick Polio Out of Africa” vaccination campaign. It has helped reduce and eliminate polio in many countries.

The vaccines work by training and preparing the body’s natural defence mechanisms to recognise and lay strategies of fighting any viral or bacterial infection targeted. When vaccinated, the immune system is enhanced and if the body is later exposed to any of the disease-causing microorganisms, it immediately builds its defence mechanisms.  This helps to alleviate critical stages of the illness, thereby reducing the number of patients in hospitals in need of oxygen and other critical requirements.

It is advisable that all recommended people get vaccinated and for the government to provide enough vaccines. The Ministry of Health also needs to launch as vaccination awareness campaign to demystify the myths surrounding the use of AstraZeneca vaccine. However, those who have received the jab should not drop the guard since they can still be infected and infect others. 

Let’s all be our sisters and brothers’ keepers by making sure we follow the Ministry of Health protocols to curb the infections and eradicate the virus.  Covid-19 is still with us and its rate of infection has increased — the positivity rate is at 13.4 per cent. To mitigate the spread of new variant, we better observe these measures, including wearing face masks, sanitising and washing hands and cleaning frequently touched surfaces and objects.

 Erick Omulo Ribba is a communications officer