Health Canada is on the verge of receiving a third maybe even a fourth COVID-19 vaccine within the next couple weeks. To date, over one million people in our country have been vaccinated, surpassing the total number of cases. Once approved, Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau aims for quick delivery of next-in-line COVID-19 vaccines. However, the main concern is the safety of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines; Canada’s current available options.
How does it work?
The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine helps our bodies develop immunity against SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), by using messenger RNA. mRNA vaccines function through the insertion of viral genetic material which causes an immune response against the virus. After vaccination, the immune system produces antibodies of T-lymphocytes as well as B-lymphocytes, which will defend against the virus later on. The vaccine is 95% effective 10 days after the second dose.
To assure the safety of the vaccine, scientists have conducted several trials on cells and living organisms. In order to better understand the effects this vaccine has in humans, multiple clinical studies have also been performed. Meanwhile, according to AARP both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine seem to produce numerous side effects. These phases consist of injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever.
Studies suggest that trials need to follow patients for a longer duration in order to determine whether a COVID-19 vaccine can reduce the spread. Clinical trials may not always determine whether a vaccine is safe or not. For example, tests done on young and healthy volunteers might not assure safety for a more elderly community. Personally, I believe that it is important to consider the risks that come with vaccination. Further studies must be done on a variety of people in order to assure the safety of the vaccine.