COVID-19 VACCINE: ALLERGIES, SIDE EFFECTS AND URBAN MYTHS

COVID-19 myths

COVID-19 VACCINE: ALLERGIES, SIDE EFFECTS AND URBAN MYTHS

Published on Jul 19, 2021

A lot of misconceptions arose due to the rumours surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine. An urban myths (capability of the vaccine to magnetize metallic objects at point of injection) came to limelight and that has been king of urban legend. This and other false information spread across the social media mediums has drove the number of people getting vaccinated per region low. A lot of people chose to believe this false narrative and stay away from being vaccinated. With the Delta strain, a variant of SARS-CoV-2 rising among the ranks of covid-19 strains out there due to its highly contagious (being able to be transferred from people quickly) nature, studies have come out to show the best form of protection against the new strain is to get fully vaccinated. We aim to shed more light on the Covid-19 vaccine and hopefully assist in making the right choices going forward. Vaccine is a biological preparation that stimulates and provides memory for active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease. It usually contains either killed or weakened form of the disease causing micro-organism, its toxins or surface proteins. Vaccines have its origin in the 16th century and coined from the term derived by Edward Jenner as Variole Vaccinae to denote Cowpox (in which he described its protective effect against smallpox). The concept of vaccination is centred on stimulating the immune response to a particular disease causing organism using parts or whole of the organism to elicit the targeted response. We have vaccines such as: BCG (Bacillus Chalmette Guerin), DPT (Diphtheria Pertussis and Tetanus); pentavalent (DPT+ Hepatitis B+ Haemophilus Influenza), Meningitis, Typhoid, and currently Covid-19 vaccines. These vaccines are mostly taken through intramuscular route and orally. Drugs are substances (chemical within well-defined (structure) that produce biological effects when administered to a living organism. It can be used to prevent, treat, cure or diagnose a disease’s state. It can be administered through many routes as follows: oral (through the mouth), intramuscular (through the muscles), intravenous (through the vein), intrathecal (through the spinal cord), subcut (through the subcutaneous tissues) etc. Drugs are processed in the body as chemical substances and undergo chemical reactions to achieve a desired objective. Most drugs are metabolized in the liver and excreted through the kidney in form of urine or faeces. It is classified based on its therapeutic use, functions, mechanism of actions, systems or organs impacted. The duration of a drug’s action is dependent on its half-life, the effectiveness. Vaccines and drugs combination in present day healthcare have improved yields of medical benefits such as eradicating smallpox, surviving Yersinia Pestis pandemic (Bubonic plague/Black Death), reduced negative impacts of some other diseases; poliomyelitis, whooping cough, diphtheria etc. These therapeutic compounds (vaccines and drugs) are produced by pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies. Part of the process and procedures in production is to ensure efficacy, safety, and determine the side effects in a process known as clinical trials. Then, it qualifies for approval by mandated regulatory bodies like FDA, CE, NAFDAC, etc. Most therapeutic compounds have side effects which have been determined through clinical trials and market survey. One of the most noted side effects is allergic reaction or allergies. Allergy is an immune system response to a foreign body (Allergen). Allergen can be from any source ranging from food, drugs, vaccines, to pollen grains and inhalational irritants. It can present with symptoms as: rhinitis, conjunctival hyperaemia, tissue swelling, angioedema, bronchospasm, shock, and possible death. Intervention for allergic reaction includes: 1. Removal of foreign body or allergens. 2. Drugs (Epinephrine, nor-epinephrine, corticosteroid, antihistaminic, aminophylline). 3. Oxygen therapy. 4. Fluid therapy. Lab investigations:- Full Blood Count (FBC), C-Reactive Protein (CRP), Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR). Conclusion A patient took the covid-19 vaccine and developed chills and headache after 6 hours and decided to take aspirin for these adverse effects. An hour after the ingestion of the aspirin the patient began to experience facial swelling and was diagnosed with aspirin allergy and managed as such.