Lifestyle Technology

Finding a vaccine that you can trust

While the focus mid of last year until now has largely been around hygiene, eating healthy and building immunity, this year has brought in something new – preparing to get vaccinated. A year long wait for the vaccine seems like such a long time. With all the chaos we have been through, I for one, am eager to get vaccinated. But not without doing my research and finding one that I can trust. 

I have had this conversation with a lot of my relatives and friends too and understood that they also have similar concerns. Moreover, there is so much information we are fed that it gets intimidating and decision making gets a bit difficult. So, I decided to sit down, read up a little and make my notes because first you’ve got to #KnowYourVaccine.

What I would look for in a vaccine

Having lived through a long period of uncertainty, it is natural for us to seek surety in some form. I needed to know a few things first:

  1. Whether the vaccine I choose is efficient in the long run – I wouldn’t want to get vaccinated and still live in the fear of infections. It should certainly provide a protective shield for a long time.
  2. Does it have side effects, and if yes – how long? I had heard about side effects from people who had already been vaccinated. Some had no side effects and some people’s side effects lasted pretty long. So, I wanted to be all the more careful.
  3. How many doses would I require? The lesser, the better! We all want to get it over with soon, right?

Some interesting discoveries

I had of course heard of Covishield and Covaxine – the vaccines available in India. I had been following the updates on these vaccines but kept my eyes and ear open for more developments. Recently I saw Sputnik V trending on Twitter and got curious. On reading, I learnt that it has now been approved in India. Although I had heard about the launch of this vaccine in Russia, I did not expect it to reach India so soon! Digging deeper I was fascinated by what I found. Let me share that with you in the simplest way I can!

How I got convinced of the efficacy of Sputnik V

Sputnik V is the world’s first registered vaccine based on a well-studied human adenoviral vector-based platform. It is also one of the three vaccines with efficacy of over 90%. Data published by the leading medical journal The Lancet demonstrated efficacy of Sputnik V vaccine at 91.6%. A two dose vaccine, the analysis of infection rate of almost 4 million vaccinated people in Russia shows that efficacy of the vaccine is even higher, reaching 97.6%.  That looks very promising. Now onto how these adenoviral vector-based vaccines work.

I was amazed to know that the human adenoviral vectors that Sputnik V uses have been studied since 1953 – yes that long back! Also, they are proven to be safe. You can learn more about how they work here. The first COVID-19 vaccine cocktail was pioneered by Sputnik V using AD 26 vector as the first shot and AD 5 vector as the second shot. This approach of using two different components for two different shots makes it one of the most effective vaccines. 

This graph can break it down better:

sputnikvaccine

Figure 1 Source: https://sputnikvaccine.com/about-vaccine/

Moreover, future vaccines plan to follow this method too. Another positive point to note is that we needn’t worry about mutations. The robust shield it provides has the ability to protect us from that. I liked that there was a simple video explaining this. You can watch it here. So, that was pretty convincing for me and after sharing it with my doctor, my belief was reinforced. 

Always look for credible information and never forget to run it by your doctor – that is my protocol. Understanding all the aspects of vaccination really helps in choosing the right one. Have you taken the step to get vaccinated yet? What kind of research helps you #KnowYourVaccine better?

 

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