THE HEAD OF the body that regulates medicines in Ireland has said that a rigorous process is ongoing to monitor the safety of Covid-19 vaccines and that the benefits of these vaccines “continue to outweigh the risks”.
Many people in Ireland have been receiving vaccines through our health service since birth. It has been a routine for children in the very successful eradication of early childhood diseases.
Others have received vaccines for certain types of cancer and as required for travel to certain countries.
The Irish health services have a good and reliable record for their vaccination programmes with very high numbers volunteering to be vaccinated. This has meant that many diseases have been eradicated in Ireland.
Over the years, whether as children or when getting vaccines for travel, it has not been unusual for some people to feel a little sick or sore for a day or two after getting the vaccine. These are the normal side effects of all vaccines. They are just the vaccine stimulating the immune system as it is supposed to do and some people feel it and others don't because we are all different. The same type of side effects can be expected for the COVID-19 vaccine too.
Some may be concerned about the speed that the new vaccines for COVID-19 have been developed. Vaccines consist of 2 main parts:-
1. The Medicine
2. The sugar to make the medicine go down
For vaccines, the "sugar" is actually the messenger used to stimulate the body's immune system so it recognises the vaccine's arrival and does what is required to accept the "medicine". The "sugar", therefore, is the process and additives used with the vaccine. Previously these had to be developed especially for each vaccine and part of the time that it took to develop the vaccine itself was the time necessary to develop the right messenger that worked best for what it was trying to do. This contributed to the longer development times for vaccines that were normal in the past.
However, in recent years they have developed a new messenger that can be used with any and all vaccines and this means that a large percentage of vaccine development time is now gone;- thereby shortening the whole process. The COVID-19 development has greatly benefited from this and it has allowed the vaccine be developed and tested in a much quicker time.
As a result, in Ireland COVID-19 vaccines are now available to high risk groups and everyone should have access to one of them by September if wanted.
More than 53 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have already been given to people worldwide, including over 94,000 in Ireland at time of writing this article.
If you are making decisions about getting the vaccine for yourself or others, please take time to understand the facts as it is an important decision for you, your family and the community you live in.
Some more facts are given in this recent newspaper article - click on the image below to read:-