As the COVID-19 vaccine has started to be distributed around the world, many are questioning about the vaccine’s side effects. As most people would probably know by now, vaccines help to enhance your immune system by preparing it to fight infectious disease more coordinatively. It accommodates the lymphocyte-antibody mechanism that allows for a long period protection against a similar infection. But here’s the catch, it can only do so by first triggering an immune response similar to how a real pathogen would go about, but with less intensity, minimal tissue damage and more importantly zero tolerance to severe consequences.
Birth of Side Effect @ What are the side effects?
According to global data, the common side effect of taking a vaccine can be categorized in four levels. What we normally see, hear or might have personally experienced throughout previous vaccination are mostly derived from the mild & moderate category. These are the types of side effects some might experience in a day or two and then disappears automatically.
The other half is what’s called severe & potentially life threatening side effects. These are the kinds of side effects that were screened out during preclinical testing. If a potential vaccine candidate elicit such side effects, it will either be modified accordingly or thrown out and labelled as unsuccessful vaccine candidates.
|Category of Side Effect||Examples|
|Mild||Localized pain & swelling|
|Moderate||Fever, fatigue, etc.|
|Severe||Severe rashes, inflammation & physical disability|
|Potentially Life Threatening||Death, organ damage, etc.|
Besides that, the mild & moderate side effects can be classified into two different types. Local side effects such as pain, redness and swelling at injection sites are mostly due to the needle trauma and the localized (minor) inflammatory process that occur periodically. The rate of pain however can be very subjective based on different individuals.
Systemic side effect, such as fever, fatigue and muscle pain are very much the way our body intricately responding as a single organism in order to mediate a more conducive atmosphere in order to buffer the foreign substance mobility, escalate the required (systemic) inflammatory process, while producing the right antibodies to fight & remember the designated pathogen.
|Type of Side Effect|
➔ Pain at injection site
➔ Swelling at injection site
➔ Muscle pain
➔ Joint pain
An Indicative Outcome @ Why side effects are a good sign?
According to experts, this is an indicative outcome that the vaccine has clearly started to kick in and do what it’s supposed to do. Although having no side effects is desirable, unintentionally having one just implies that it is currently working. Not to mention that it is highly anticipated, is definitely a good sign. Having nothing to worry about, staying calm, following the steps accordingly and enduring (what some might describe as discomforting) for a few days would be the right attitude to go about. Not only to instill self resilience, but also lessen the negative perception some communities have towards vaccination.
Nonetheless it does not mean, individuals that have not endured the same experience, would not attain the required level of vaccine protection. We must understand that different individuals have different ways of adapting to the chemical substance. The complexity of the human immune system is clearly something to be reckoned with. But in this case, not only are we informed by the vaccine efficacy rate, our immunity (post inoculation) can also be evaluated through specific blood tests at certified hospitals and clinics.
A Small Price to Pay @ History from other vaccines
Lest we forget, so many diseases no longer surface in countries where strong advocates of anti-vaxxers currently reside. Vaccination has indeed managed to revolutionize global healthcare. The number of deaths prevented nowadays due to vaccines (along with other medical discovery) is insurmountable, yet some still felt prejudice as to what the inoculation program has to offer. It is no longer the norms to see babies mortified against lethal rashes, children with distorted hearing, adults placed forever in iron lungs.
Maybe due to sheer comfortness people tend to forget how lucky we are to be born in a world where vaccines are readily accessible. Without denying the possibility of its side effects, it is therefore a rather small price to pay with respect to the consequences if the society reverts back to an era prior to vaccination.