There's finally a light at the end of the tunnel as we push through the second year of the pandemic. With the COVID-19 vaccine being more available to the public, our lives may go back to normal soon. In the near future, the vaccines won't only be available in healthcare establishments, so you may quickly get one in a Canadian pharmacy near you.
However, many people are still skeptical about getting vaccinated and unsure how it can affect their bodies. Many people tend to forget that vaccination is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of any diseases, especially something as infectious as COVID-19.
Besides that, when more people get vaccinated, the impact of the disease in the community minimizes and lowers the risk of death.
Why Do I Need to Get Vaccinated?
When you zoom out and look at the bigger picture, getting vaccinated isn't only about you. You're not only protecting yourself, but you're also protecting your whole community.
Thankfully, millions of Canadians have finally received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Hopefully, the number of vaccine jabs continue to rise and consequently lower the number of severe COVID-19 cases as time goes on.
Who Will Get Vaccinated? When?
The independent panel of experts who advises Canada's Public Health is the National Advisory Committee of Immunization. They decide on who gets vaccinated first and fall under the priority list.
Priority for vaccination is based on various factors, including age, pre-existing medical conditions, socioeconomic status, and your community or racialized population. These factors correlate to the susceptibility to COVID-19; that's why these individuals rank higher on the vaccination list.
Elderly people, their caretakers, first responders, frontline healthcare workers, and essential workers who have direct public contact have priority over younger people and those who can work or study from home.
Finally, as the vaccine becomes more accessible to the public and the supply grows, the number of vaccinated people increases. With that being said, soon, people at lower risk of getting severe outcomes of COVID-19 can get vaccinated.
People in the low-risk category may have to wait until summer before they can get vaccinated. But fortunately, even those who aren't Canadian citizens can also get the jab.
What are the Different Types of Vaccines?
One of the reasons people are iffy about getting the vaccine is because of the number of vaccines in the market today. However, despite their difference, they all share the same thing in common: lowering your risk of hospitalization and death.
Here are the approved vaccines in Canada that health establishments and Candian pharmacies will provide:
Approved for people 18 and above, Moderna is an mRNA vaccine that needs two doses about one month apart. This vaccine is 94% effective in preventing COVID-19 two weeks after you receive the second dose.
Approved for people 16 and older, another mRNA vaccine approved for use in Canada is the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. This vaccine is 95% effective in fighting COVID-198 two weeks after the second dose.
Approved for people 55 and older, the AstraZeneca vaccine is a viral vector-based vaccine. The reason younger people can't get AstraZeneca is due to the rare adverse blood clotting effects observed in Europe.
This vaccine also needs two doses, roughly one to three months apart. The AstraZeneca vaccine is 62% effective after you get the second dose.
Another viral vector-based vaccine approved for people 18 and older is the Janssen. The great thing about this vaccine is that you only need a single dose, and it is about 66% effective two weeks after you get the jab.
The Bottom Line: Getting the Vaccine Doesn't Only Keep You Safe, But Protects Everyone Around You
Although there are a bunch of myths floating around and several vaccines to choose from, one thing's for sure — getting the shot lowers your risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms, hospitalization, and death. So, it's best to queue yourself for the vaccine, get it when it's available, and protect yourself and the people around you.
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