THE Health Department, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) are encouraging people to make use of the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out around the country.
Why receive the Covid-19 vaccination?
As of last month, more than 1.36 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccines have been administered to people around the world. The approved Covid-19 vaccines come together with protective measures such as wearing masks, washing hands, physical distancing and avoiding crowds to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 in communities.
Who will be offered the Covid-19 vaccines first?
Frontline health workers at high risk of the Covid-19 infection and other essential workers will be first to be offered the vaccine. Essential workers include police, soldiers, border, port and immigration workers, prison guards, airport staff, teachers and workers in quarantine facilities.
Why receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine?
The AstraZeneca vaccine is approved for use in Papua New Guinea due to its safety, supply and storage considerations. It can be stored between two and eight degrees for up to six months. It has been approved for emergency use by the World Health Organisation and regulatory bodies in Australia, the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe?
Yes. Approved vaccines such as the AstraZeneca have gone through rigorous testing in clinical trials to prove that they meet international standards for safety, quality and effectiveness.
Is the AstraZeneca vaccine effective?
The AstraZeneca vaccine has shown to be highly effective in preventing severe illness and death caused by the Covid-19, especially among vulnerable groups such as older people and those with underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, tuberculosis and diabetes.
How does the vaccine work?
The vaccine delivers instructions to our immune system to begin producing anti-bodies and to activate our immune cells to be ready to ward off a future Covid-19 infection. The benefit of vaccination is that we get protection from a vaccine without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with the Covid-19. The vaccine cannot cause the Covid-19 infection. How many doses will I need? Two. Which should be eight to 12 weeks apart.
Will I experience side-effects after the vaccination?
Some people will experience mild side-effects that may last one to two days such as fever, sore arm, fatigue, headache or body aches, loss of appetite. This is a natural sign that your body is building immunity to protect you against the disease. In the case of an allergic reaction, it is most likely to happen very soon after vaccination. This is why you will be asked to stay for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine to make sure there is no discomfort. If you feel unwell at home after vaccination, you should seek medical care.
Can children receive the Covid-19 vaccine?
Currently, the Covid-19 vaccination is recommended for only adults – 18 years and above.
What if am pregnant?
Pregnant women may receive the vaccine, but they should consult their healthcare provider first.
Do I need to pay before getting vaccinated?
No, all the Covid-19 vaccines will be given free of charge.
Can I stop wearing masks and physical distancing after getting vaccinated?
No, vaccinated people must continue to follow public health safety measures. This includes wearing masks, staying 1.5 meters apart from others, avoid crowds and washing hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanatiser.
Can I catch the Covid-19 from the vaccine?
You cannot catch the Covid-19 from the vaccine. The risk of infection from other persons is present, but the vaccine will start to protect you against severe Covid-19 two weeks after vaccination.
What about blood clots?
Regulatory authorities continue to review available data on reports of rare clotting events in those who have been vaccinated.