Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

What you need to know about COVID-19 vaccine - NOA

In a bid to allay fears among Nigerians over COVID-19 vaccine safety, the Federal Government Authority, the National Orientation Agency, NOA, has explained government’s process of procuring vaccines, its safety and ability to protect citizens from contracting the virus.

The National Orientation Agency also provided answers and more elaborate explanations in a bid to restore calm about the safety of the vaccination and some common questions that might be asked.


What are COVID-19 vaccines?

COVID-19 vaccines aim to prevent the virus by triggering an immune response. If vaccinated, you are fully protected. According to NOA, COVID-19 vaccines aim to prevent COVID-19 disease by triggering an immune response. COVID-19 vaccines are being developed following the same legal requirements for quality, safety, and efficacy as for all other vaccines. Like all vaccines, the effects of COVID-19 vaccines are tested first in the laboratory, including in animals, and then in human volunteers.


Can the vaccine infect me with COVID-19?

The vaccine will be subjected to laboratory examinations to ensure it is safe before being administered on humans.


Can the COVID-19 vaccine alter DNA?

There is no scientific evidence that COVID-19 vaccine will change or affect human genetic information, DNA. The NOA says that COVID - 19 vaccines do not alter your DNA. It triggers an immune response that will protect your body against the virus if encountered. Once you and your community members are protected, the chances of the spread of the disease are reduced.


If I have had COVID-19 and have recovered, do I still need to be vaccinated?

Recovery from #COVID19 infection after treatment does not give you immunity from being infected again. Vaccine doses will protect you from contracting the virus. National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA Nigeria recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19, because you can be infected more than once. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we do not know how long this protection will last. Hence, it is recommended that that you get vaccinated because you can be re-infected.


Is it better to get natural immunity to COVID-19 rather than a vaccine?

Immunity you will get from #COVID19 vaccination is scientifically proven to be effective. Vaccination is the best protection and it is Safe! There is no guarantee that if you get COVID-19, you will get immunity.

In fact, you may get serious illness and die or have debilitating symptoms that may persist for months. Even if you survive the disease, you may only develop short-term antibody protection after recovery from COVID-19, we do not know how long this protection lasts. Therefore, vaccination is the best protection, and it is safe.



Does the COVID-19 vaccine contain a microchip?

Disregard the claim that the #COVID19 vaccine contains a microchip. National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC will certify the vaccine safe before being administered by the Federal Ministry of Health through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.

COVID -19 vaccines do not contain any harmful substance or micro-chip. All vaccines including COVID-19 vaccines are manufactured under strict compliance with WHO guidelines. Also, before the vaccine is administered in Nigeria. NAFDAC will test and certify it safe for human use.



Is it safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have underlying medical conditions?

People with underlying medical conditions such as heart and lung diseases, diabetes or cancer have nothing to fear. #COVID19 infection has more impact on them, hence the need to be vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for people with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.


Will the shot hurt or make me sick?

Mild side effects may occur as in any other vaccination. However, the vaccine has been proven to be effective and safe on humans. Mild side effects may occur as in any other vaccination. However, they are signs that the vaccine is working to build your immunity. This does not mean you have COVID-19. If they do not go away in a few days, see your doctor.


Can pregnant and lactating mothers receive the vaccine?

Studies are yet to be conducted to ascertain the safety of the vaccine if administered to pregnant or lactating mothers.


Do I still need to wear a facemask after vaccination?

Wearing a face mask is one of the effective Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions, NPIs to stop the spread of COVID-19. You are advised to continue to practice the preventive wear your face masks. frequently wash your hands with soap and running water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, observe physical distancing and avoid large gathering and unnecessary travels to stop community transmission of COVID-19.



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