COVID-19: How Will The Vaccine Reach You? Experts Tell
COVID-19 vaccine: Even after the vaccine will be available, there will be a need to continue taking precautionary measures. Experts explain why that is right here.
COVID-19 vaccine availability will be prioritised to healthcare workers and older adults
- The COVID-19 vaccine is not going to be available to everyone immediately
- It will be given to older adults and those with medical conditions first
- It will take time till everybody has been immunized with COVID-19 vaccine
The world is slowly getting closer to the COVID-19 vaccine. But how is this vaccine going to reach you? Answering this very crucial query is the World Health Organization's (WHO's) Dr Katherine O'Brien, Director of the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, on its official Instagram handle. "In every country around the world, there are plans going on for a program to immunize people who most need these vaccines. And its really important for people to understand that the vaccines are going to be in limited supply, at least in the beginning of the rollout," she informs in the IGTV.
How will the COVID-19 vaccine reach you?
She goes on to add that everyone will not be able to get a vaccine immediately. There is a need for prioritisation of which groups need the vaccine first. "Priority groups for vaccines are health workers who are at high risk of COVID-19. Then, people in older age groups, who have been the most at risk of severe disease or death. Following them are people who have underlying medical conditions that would put them at risk of severe disease or death," explains Dr Brien.
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Experts, including those from WHO have clearly stated that even after the vaccine is available, there is a need to continue observing precautions. This is primarily because there won't be enough vaccines in the initial phases, so as to immunize everybody right away.
"Secondly, it is important to continue taking precautions even after a vaccine, because we don't know yet for how long the protection of the vaccine will last. Studies have been reporting fantastic results against the protection from the disease. However, by necessity, researchers have been able to follow up people for only a few months following their immunization," says Dr Brien.
More research is needed to find out if the protection offered by the vaccine lasts for only a few months, or potentially, years. Because of supply constraints, the constraint of the duration of protection offered by the vaccine, and because it is going to take time for everybody to be vaccinated, who needs to be vaccinated first, we shouldn't expect that we are going to be able to just stop all of the interventions and precautions that we are taking right now.
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Challenges that countries are likely to face with the COVID-19 vaccine
Because of the nature of COVID-19 vaccine, there are going to be challenges that every country is going to face. "Some of the first challenges are dealing with the cold-chain equipment, as some of the vaccines require special equipment to keep the vaccine at extremely cold temperatures," Dr Brien says while talking about the challenges that countries are going to face with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Also, as mentioned above, this vaccine is going to be first rolled out in adults. "Many countries do not have the experience immunization programs, in every community and every facility. Learning how to have an adult program is also going to be a challenge for them," she adds.
Lastly, it is a challenge is to make the vaccine available to everybody. This is something absolutely about community engagement, individual confidence and willingness, and understanding of the benefit of vaccines and safety of vaccines.
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