„The benefits of vaccination are incomparable and indisputable. We are going to make joint efforts to increase confidence in vaccination, to bring enough amounts of vaccine to Moldova, and to vaccinate all people…”
COVID-19 is a highly infectious and, in some cases, extremely dangerous disease. Some groups in the population, including the elderly and people with medical conditions, called comorbidities, have a higher risk of severe symptoms and even death.
Government authorities and scientists around the world continue to say that wearing masks and keeping social distance are helping to reduce the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines are needed to protect the people from exposure to the virus. Natural immunity combined with vaccine-induced immunity appears to be the most effective means of protection against COVID-19.
Understandably, some people will feel some anxiety about administering any new vaccine. However, while the COVID-19 vaccine was created and approved in less than a year, much faster than other vaccines, which were developed on the average of 10 years, safety and testing precautions were not neglected in the aim to achieve effective results.
What is vaccines confidence?
Trust in vaccines is the confidence that patients, their families, and health professionals have in:
- recommended vaccines.
- specialists administering vaccines.
- policies and processes leading to vaccine development, licensing or authorization, manufacturing, and recommendations for use.
Many factors influence vaccine decision-making, including cultural, social, and political factors; individual and group factors; vaccine-specific factors. Overall, the confidence in vaccines, including the vaccine against COVID-19 and the system, supports the vaccination decision.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends six ways to help build confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine:
- Encourage leaders in your family, community, or organizations to be champions of vaccines.
- Talk about vaccination with your friends and family to understand their perspective and encourage their vaccination decision.
- Distribute key messages through multiple channels that people trust and promote action.
- Help on educating people about COVID-19 vaccines, how they are developed and monitored for safety, and how individuals can talk to others about vaccines.
- Learn more about finding credible information about the vaccine. When you encounter COVID-19 information, check with cdc.gov and learn how to respond to the misinformation you encounter.
- When you are offered the vaccine, make your decision to vaccinate visible and celebrate it!
What are the advantages of vaccinating for each of us?
Protection against COVID-19. The best way to stay healthy is to avoid SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. If, however, you become infected, vaccination seems to reduce the risk of developing severe or even fatal symptoms. This is because the currently available vaccine prepares your immune system to produce antibodies without making you sick. If you become infected, the vaccinated body is prepared to fight the disease. Vaccination usually results in fewer or milder symptoms when you are ill (or there are no symptoms at all).
Protection for your family and friends. By administering the COVID-19 vaccine, the chance of spreading the pathogen COVID-19 to family members, friends, or other people with whom you have contacted is also reduced.
High efficacy rates. All established medicines are clinically tested before the approved use. Approved vaccines were found to be 66-95% effective within two weeks of full inoculation of both doses. In other words, vaccines will protect at least 14 out of 20 people who are inoculated from not getting COVID-19, and 20 out of 20 will not make a serious form of the disease.
What is also important to understand, is that everyone agrees that vaccines reduce the transmission of the virus.
A recent Israeli study found that out of 100 vaccinated patients, none of those who received both doses of the vaccine became carriers of the virus and could not spread it further.
Israel is one of the most vaccinated countries in the world and has compiled comprehensive data.
Another study also found a reduction in transmission rates even after the first dose. Those who tested positive for COVID-19 showed that twelve or more days after the first dose they had a viral load four times lower than those who were not vaccinated. Those receiving the vaccine became much less exposed at risk of transmission even before receiving the second dose.
Reduced risks of transmission of the virus would allow more freedom of travel with significantly lower cases, especially when associated with wearing the mask, social distancing and frequent hand washing.
The question of opening the borders for vaccinated visitors now seems increasingly likely, because the risk of doing so is a controllable one.
Several countries have made calculations of the benefits of anti-COVID-19 vaccination.
When we apply their logic to a district with 100 000 people in our country we get the following:
- If 100,000 people are vaccinated, about 950 people will become infected.
- If 100,000 people are vaccinated, about 13 will end up in the hospital.
- If 100,000 people are vaccinated, about 2 will be admitted to an intensive care unit.
For comparison we can take the current figures of illness and deaths. At the time of writing of this Op-Ed, 249139 cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the Republic of Moldova, including 5730 deaths or 2300 deaths per 100,000 cases of disease.
The benefits of vaccination are incomparable and indisputable. We are going to make joint efforts to increase confidence in vaccination, to bring enough vaccine to Moldova, and to vaccinate all people.