The Sinopharm vacccine
AS a medical professional, the harrowing experience of the Covid-19 pandemic over the last two years has been two-fold.
In addition to tunnelling through a myopic way of living filled with uncertainty and failures, I then gather myself and go to work in the hospitals of Trinidad.
I am tired.
My frontline colleagues are exhausted. Their families are frustrated. Our personal goals are slowly slipping away from reach. Still somehow we remain functional in our respective clinical fields just to keep our civilians alive.
When vaccines became World Health Organization (WHO)-approved and available worldwide, this seemed to be the long awaited answer to our prayers.
Conservative measures were failing. Finally, here came something that would keep us out of hospitals and prevent us from dying.
Our spirits and our expectations became high. What I did not expect however, was that in the background of this medical breakthrough, many had taken it upon themselves to fuel the concept of ‘vaccine hesitancy.’ (This is a concept much different from ‘anti-vaccine’ or ‘anti-vax’ which I am incapable of addressing).
It was more common than I expected within my own social circles— friends, colleagues and loved ones. After shedding literal blood, sweat and tears for countless months, I was now heartbroken.
It was essential to objectively address their issues one-by-one to help them with their ultimate decisions. I hope that the discussion may reach others in similar predicaments.
‘I am not against the vaccine, it is too new and there is just not enough information.’
This is understandable for those hesitant to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, despite the brand. The truth is, there is a landslide of credible information available now that we did not have two years ago.
In fact, when considering the advent of the vaccines, it must be swiftly debunked that they are ‘new’ and we are all experimenting with their use.
The approved vaccines have been in the works for roughly 20 years.
The science behind them was previously generated for diseases like Ebola, HIV and cancers. We are not part of a trial!
Trials have already taken place with willing patients who, in my opinion are heroes. We are benefitting from their actions.
‘The vaccines can alter my DNA’
Pfizer and Moderna market a unique ‘mRNA vaccine’ which teaches your own body to produce your own fighting mechanisms. No DNA altering here whatsoever.
AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson use viral-vector vaccines which carry a small piece of protein from the virus into your body stimulating the needful.
This is like the Trojan horse of vaccines and is quite exquisite.
Don’t forget Sinopharm, whose familiar science goes back as far as the 1950’s, the same concept adapted here, providing a safe and traditional way to provide Covid-19 immunity. Technology and wisdom has allowed us to do this faster and better.
‘I am afraid of the possible side effects’
The horrendous side effects that were being told of AstraZeneca, J&J and Pfizer vaccines scared us all. These issues in these brands are likely because of their kind. However, we know now that the chance of side effects is less than 0.0005% and luckily the complications are entirely treatable.
Compare this to the 30% risk of blood clots associated with severe Covid-19 infection which is an extreme challenge to treat successfully. Discuss which brand is best for you with your doctor. Vaccine choice is more accessible now.
‘Why get vaccinated when there are proven home remedies and medications?’
There are no home remedies to stop the spread and severity of Covid-19. I was sent a lovely recipe for an orange, ginger, lemon steam which will work wonders for the effects of Sahara dust, but sadly not Covid-19.
The hot topic of medications is still Ivermectin. There have been many research papers over the past year suggesting its benefits. Unfortunately, many were recently discredited due to false data and dangerously high doses used in clinical trials.
An important publication last month stated: “Ivermectin treatment in patients with mild or moderate Covid-19 had no significant effect on preventing hospitalisation of patients with Covid-19… except for the time elapsed from hospitalisation to invasive mechanical ventilatory support, where patients who received Ivermectin required it significantly earlier.”
‘People at high risk should get the vaccine, but I am not in that category’
It should not be an argument as to who is high risk or not. In the early stages we were convinced that the virus affected older sicker individuals. With the emergence of the different variants, we are seeing disease in younger healthy people. Vaccines reduce the chance of getting covid by about 75%.
‘Herd immunity can be achieved if the virus is allowed to spread for our bodies to gain natural immunity’
There is some evidence recently that points in the direction of some natural immunity possibly being achieved after infection, but this research only goes up to eight months and is new to human subjects.
There is also no proof yet that this exists for the more severe variants. Even so, it would mean that it is acceptable for us to allow the virus to run wild and mutate freely, accepting the consequences.
Abigail Sophia Cooblal is a medical doctor and the acting Registrar in the Department of Surgery at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope.
Information for this article was from sources below:
Jennifer M. Dan et al Immunological memory to SARS-CoV-2 assessed for up to 8 months after infection. Science 05 Feb 2021:Vol. 371, Issue 6529
Catherine J. Reynolds et al. Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection rescues B and T cell responses to variants after first vaccine dose. Science 25 Jun 2021:Vol. 372, Issue 6549
Giulietta Maruggi et al. mRNA as a Transformative Technology for Vaccine Development to Control Infectious Diseases. Molecular Therapy Vol. 27 No 4 April 2019
Pengfei Jin et al. Immunological surrogate endpoints of COVID-2019 vaccines: the evidence we have versus the evidence we need. Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2021; 6: 48
Luis Garegnani et al. Misleading clinical evidence and systemic reviews on ivermectin for covid-19. Bmj-ebm-2021;111678
Julio Vallejos et al. Ivermectin to prevent hospitalizations in patients with COVID-19 (IVERCOR-COVID19) a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. BMC Infectious Diseases vol 21, Article number: 635 (2021)
Altmann DM, et al. Immunity to SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Science 2021;371:1103-4