Every year in the last week of April, World Immunization Week promotes the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.
Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful health interventions. Yet, there are still nearly 20 million children in the world today who are not getting the vaccines they need.
With the theme ‘Vaccines bring us closer’, World Immunization Week 2021 (April 24th-30th) will focus on how vaccination connects us to the individuals, priorities, and moments that matter most to us, thus improving the health of all, everywhere in life.
In this articles on ‘World Immunization Week’, we at Gastroclinix want to share our insights on Covid-19 vaccines & Hepatitis B vaccine.
What are the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine?
A COVID-19 vaccine might:
- Prevent you from getting COVID-19 (https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 ) or from becoming seriously ill or dying
- Prevent you from spreading the COVID-19 virus to others
- Add to the number of people in the community who are protected from getting — COVID-19 making it harder for the disease to spread and contributing to herd immunity
- Prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading and replicating, which allows it to mutate and possibly become more resistant to vaccines
The 95% effectiveness actually means that people with the vaccine have a 95% lower risk of COVID-19 when compared to a control group. Without the vaccine, we would expect roughly 1% of the population to get the disease, and with the vaccine, this reduces to 0.05%. At such low rates, the vaccines will allow society to get back to ‘normal’ and for restrictions to be permanently eased.
How exactly do the different types of Covid-19 vaccines work?
Vaccines activate the immune system, teaching your body how to battle viruses in the future. Some vaccines work by causing the immune system to react to a whole virus. Other vaccines depend on virus fragments or genetic material that contains instructions for producing particular proteins similar to those found in the virus.
Vaccines can be made using many different technologies. The Covid-19 vaccines that are currently the most advanced are using four different approaches:
- Viral vector
- The ‘whole’ virus
- Protein subunit
It’s absolutely essential to take the vaccine.
What You Need to Know about Hepatitis A & Hepatitis B Vaccine ?
Hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines are used to prevent infection caused by the hepatitis A and hepatitis B virus. The vaccine works by causing your body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the disease.
Hepatitis A is a serious disease of the liver that can cause death. It is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV), and is spread most often through infected food or water. Hepatitis A may also spread by close person-to-person contact with infected persons (such as between persons living in the same household). Despite the fact that some infected people may not seem to be sick, they may also transmit the virus to others.
Hepatitis B is a condition caused by Hepatitis B Virus(HBV). HBV is transmitted by infected body fluids such as blood, saliva, urine etc. There is a risk of liver cancer & liver cirrhosis in long term infected patients of hepatitis B.
Vaccines against both of these viruses are quite efficacious & should be taken if advised by your doctor.
Dr Harsh Shah
Liver, Pancreas & Cancer specialist Doctor in Ahmedabad, India