What is a vaccine?
● Vaccines reduce the risk of getting an infectious disease by activating your body’s natural defenses to build protection against foreign bodies.
● Vaccines prevent and control infectious-disease outbreaks.
● Vaccines are critical in the battle against COVID-19.
● A COVID‑19 vaccine teaches your body’s immune system to fight against the virus causing coronavirus.
● Scientists everywhere are working quickly to develop vaccines that will save lives and end the pandemic. Current vaccines being deployed include the AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
How do COVID-19 vaccines work?
● When you have been vaccinated, you are unlikely to transmit the virus to others.
● The more people that get the COVID-19 vaccine, the closer we get to ‘herd’ immunity. That’s when most people become immune to the disease and the spread of the coronavirus stops.
● If you’ve had the vaccine, you should still be careful. Wear a mask, keep physical distance, wash your hands, avoid large gatherings.
Who can take COVID-19 vaccines?
● The priority is to vaccinate healthcare workers, essential workers (including teachers, police officers) and the elderly. This maximizes impact in communities. After this group, it is then determined by the local health authorities on how to deploy to the general population.
● If you are pregnant, suffer from sever allergies or have any other chronic illness, you should consult with a doctor before taking the vaccine.
● Children older than 16 can take the vaccine but are not currently a priority to be vaccinated. (Not final.Consulting on the right position and language)
Are the vaccines safe?
● COVID-19 vaccines have gone through a careful testing process to make sure they are safe.
● The WHO, in collaboration with the top health and science communities, have determined that the vaccine creation and production process are safe for the public.
● According to health experts, after taking the COVID-19 vaccine, you may experience mild side effects, like a fever, aching joints or pain at the injection site. This is normal.
Caring for someone with COVID-19
● If you are caring for someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 at home, keep a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible. Wear a mask before entering their quarantine location, and ask the sick person to wear a mask as well.
● If you are caring for someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 at home, keep windows open for air circulation.
● Do not share utensils with a sick person. If at home, wash utensils using gloves, soap and hot water where possible.
● If a sick person is in your home, clean the house using the appropriate cleaning supplies every day.
● Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items. Wear disposable gloves while doing laundry.
● Wash your hands often with soap and water where possible, and/or use hand sanitizer, especially if you are caring for a sick person.
● Fear, worry, and stress are normal responses during this pandemic. You are not alone.
● To help cope with stress, practice these: deep breathing, meditation, healthy food eating, exercise regularly, and ensure that you get enough sleep.
● Make time for activities you enjoy like walking, painting, listening to music, reading, cooking, gardening. Going outside and enjoying nature is also good, as long as you social distance and take the proper precautions e.g face mask and washing hands.
● If you’re feeling lonely, connect with people on the phone or online. Talk to others about how you feel. It’s OK to not be OK. Reach out to trained mental health providers if you need to.
● Stay hopeful. There is an end to all this. Vaccines are being developed, deployed, and improved.
● The most brilliant minds in the world came together to tackle the problem of COVID-19. Science won. Numerous vaccines are in use and more are in development.
● COVAX is the global facility for the fair distribution of vaccines. It is co-led by the World Health Organisation, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the Gavi Vaccine Alliance.
● WHO, UNICEF, Gavi and other partners are working together to help prepare countries to be ready to introduce vaccines.
● The African Union and the African Vaccine Delivery Alliance (AVDA) are leading the continent’s efforts to acquire and deliver COVID-19 in Africa.
For more information go to AfricaCDC.org or WHO.int
Visit the Africa CDC COVID-19 dashboard at www.africacdc.org/covid-19