Do not fear COVID vaccine, senior pharmacist urges
President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Jamaica, Dr Winsome Christie, is urging Jamaicans to take the COVID-19 vaccines once they become available.
"There are some myths about the vaccine that they go into your cells and change you and make you develop other illnesses but they do not. There is nothing inside it that they can use to trace you, the chip technology. Those are myths," she stressed.
Christie said the vaccine is aimed at stimulating the immune system to fight against the virus. She said it is imperative to get vaccinated, as there is no other medication which can prevent against the deadly effects of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
"Should more persons take the vaccine, there are less avenues for the virus to infect. This will help to build herd immunity. So it is important for persons to take the vaccine to lower the infection rate for other persons," Christie said.
She said there have not been any major side effects noted from taking the vaccine. She clarified that while there have been reports of persons dying after taking the vaccine, the cause of death could be attributed to the patient's underlying illness.
Christie is recommending that if persons are concerned about possible allergic reactions to the vaccine, they could request to see what is written on the vial. She told THE STAR that there are protocols in place should persons have an allergic reaction, faint or go into anaphylactic shock after taking the vaccine.
"Fainting or syncope describes a loss of consciousness which occurs because of reduction of blood flow to the brain. It is triggered by vaccination because it is triggering what is called the vagal response which comes up due to anxiety. So it is you who shuts down your body because of fear, but you don't even know you are afraid," she said.
Christie, who said she would be taking the AstraZeneca vaccine when it becomes available, said that members of her association are completing vaccination training to assist with administering the jabs.