Information is the essence of Power while the Misinformation is the abuse of Power. Yes, any time is good to face our fears.
Last year, every soul prayed for an early vaccine development but with vaccine coming to us, it was all doubt that clouded our minds.
It is indeed okay for a rational Human mind to doubt but after all the clarifications and transparent information on the Internet, just a click away, is sufficient to allay all those impending fears.
Yet the amount of misinformation prevailing in the market these days is a threat to the very growth of country and well-being of its citizenry. Half truth is surely even worse than No information.
The circulated misinformation has in depth staggered country’s race to curb the ferocity of this deadly virus, which has continuously been challenged by the widespread deaths, oxygen crisis and crumbling health Infrastructure.
“Most of the health misinformation deals with the pandemic and that too, when the country is also in the midst of a massive vaccination drive,” explains the founder of Health Analytics Asia.
‘There is obviously a lack of respect for science’, he exclaims.
But the worst of these misnomers were regarding the safety of Vaccine. This led to people questioning the very basics of Human health working for so long.
Apart from a big chunk of our citizenry not getting vaccinated at all, even the ones thinking, have their minds submerged in the flood of misinformation.
How does one know which COVID-19 vaccine is accurate?
Can I get one vaccine type after the first shot of the other type?
Will a Covid vaccine alter my DNA? For how long the vaccine stays effective?
Well, the answer is NO. COVID-19 vaccines do not, in any way, alter or interact with human DNA. Experts say it is just not possible.
What is mutation? How can it happen?
Mutation is any alteration in the genomic sequence of an organism.
They are beneficial as well as dangerous; Mutations are essential to genetic variations and consequently, Evolution.
Its causes include mutations due to error-prone replication i.e., copying errors, due to molecular damage or during DNA repair or by mutagens (physical or chemical agents inflict permanent change). They can be artificially inserted too through gene-editing tools by scientists.
A 2017 study claimed that 66% of cancer-causing mutations are random, 29% due to the environment and 5% are inherited.
There are currently two types of COVID-19 vaccines, authorized and recommended for innate use: messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and a viral vector vaccine.
Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building foundation for fighting the virus that has been known to cause COVID-19.
In this case, cells will be instructed to synthesize a protein similar to Spike protein on the surface of Coronavirus.
It is to note that this material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is responsible for carrying and copying our DNA and thereby, cannot mess with our DNA.
All organisms have mechanisms such as DNA repair to prevent or correct undergoing mutations by reverting the mutated sequence back to its original state.
An assistant professor from Yales explains: “There literally is no physical connection between the RNA in these vaccines and the DNA in our cellular nuclei.”
All COVID-19 vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.
“Covid is going to become an Endemic disease. So, virtually everyone in the world is either going to take the vaccine or get infected with the virus”.
Now since our body has developed and advanced its immune response to vaccination (which is the goal), i.e. developed Antibodies(our fighters) against the Antigen(Covid virus) introduced as simulation of actual Infection, one may test positive on some antibody tests and most other symptoms(though mild) may come to surface.
Possible side-effects are like any other vaccine:
Include Headaches, fatigue, muscle aches or low-grade fevers apart from pain or swelling at the site of shot(arm).
“While these symptoms are obviously a nuisance to have, they’re actually good news because they indicate that your immune system is working. They’re signs that your immune system is activated and is producing antibodies. That’s a good thing to know.”
However, getting a vaccine does not mean that an immune/vaccinated person can’t carry the virus if they were exposed to it. Instead, it just means that one is much less likely to get sick or develop symptoms on exposure.
That is the reason why physical distancing, universal masking and avoiding indoor gatherings are recommended so far.
When should one avoid getting shots:
Administration of vaccine is not recommended if one develops an allergic reaction to the first dose or if you did get sick with COVID-19 and received an infusion of a monoclonal antibody drug.
According to Indian Doctors, people have observed natural neutralization of antibodies against Covid just in a maximum of 6-7 months’ time.
“For some with serious comorbidities, it could go away even faster. Therefore, with caution, people must remember that even artificial immunity, at this point in time, would last for a relatively similar period. We cannot expect vaccines to work like magic”.
Can fear be averted if Policy-makers explained risks better?
According to psychologist at the University of Potsdam in Germany, “Most people are risk-illiterate. A large number of studies show that ordinary people are confused by relative risks, odds or proportions.”
Experts believe that health officials can help avoid such confusion by providing transparent, well-framed information to the public. “Most people have no problem understanding risk if you, the expert, do your job right,” A Professor insists. “Give math a chance!”