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Covid 19 Coronavirus Vaccine: Everything You Need to Know

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Today is a milestone in the largest immunization program in New Zealand’s history. Here’s everything you need to know about the new jab.

When are the vaccines available and who is in line first?

Today, border and controlled quarantine and quarantine (MIQ) workers are first vaccinated.

It can take a couple of weeks to vaccinate border guards, including cleaners, nurses, guards, customs and border guards, airline staff, hotel staff, and contact information for all their households. Expected.

Healthcare, key workers, and the highest-risk people will continue in the second quarter of this year.

Immunization of the remaining civilians will begin in the second half of 2021.

Where can I get the vaccine?

For front-line workers, vaccination is primarily done in regular workplaces such as MIQ facilities.

Dr. Nikki Turner, director of the Immunization Advisory Center, said the general public is likely to visit the specific immunization sites or clinics that each DHB is working on to set up in the area.

Herald understands that people need to make a reservation before they appear, but the details have not yet been resolved.

How many vaccines do you need for each person?

The recommended dose is 2 jabs every 21 days. It is not yet known if people need to get new jabs every year.

Where did the vaccine come from?

New Zealand pre-purchases four vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech. Janssen Pharma; Novavax; and AstraZeneca.

The first agreement was 1.5 million doses from Pfizer and BioNTech.

This is a sufficient vaccine for 750,000 people, and each person should be vaccinated twice at approximately monthly intervals.

We have signed a principle agreement with Janssen-Pharma to purchase up to 5 million vaccines. This may be a single dose.

In December, the government signed a further agreement with Novavax to purchase the vaccine 10.72 million times. This is enough to inoculate 5.36 million people twice, but this is not expected until later this year.

The government has ordered a dose of Covid-19 vaccine sufficient to cover all New Zealanders. Photo / AP
The government has ordered a dose of Covid-19 vaccine sufficient to cover all New Zealanders. Photo / AP

Another deal, signed in December, will secure 7.6 million Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines in New Zealand, sufficient for 3.8 million people.

How effective is the vaccine?

Vaccine manufacturers state that the vaccine is 90-95% effective.

Health Director Ashley Bloomfield states that the level of effectiveness not only protects people from severe illness and death, but also from symptomatological illnesses.

“Current ongoing trials and continuous monitoring of vaccinated people show how long immunity lasts, but all studies being conducted have shown that people receive their second dose, especially. , Responsive and immunity lasts for at least several months. “

How does the vaccine work?

Unlike the influenza vaccinations that New Zealanders usually receive each year, the Covid-19 vaccine does not contain a live virus.

Instead, a virus that has been inactivated by special treatments is introduced into the body, allowing the immune system to learn how to fight its live version in the future.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca “viral vector” vaccine works slightly differently by using a virus that has been genetically engineered to prevent disease, but the coronavirus protein to safely generate an immune response. Instruct our bodies to produce.

The Novovax vaccine is a “protein” vaccine that safely produces an immune response using only harmless fragments of the shell that mimic the Covid-19 virus.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is more sophisticated and is part of a new generation of shots called the mRNA vaccine.

These teach our cells how to make proteins, or parts of proteins, that trigger an immune response in our body.

Its immune response, which produces antibodies, protects us from being infected when a real virus enters our body.

The Covid-19 mRNA vaccine directs cells to make a harmless portion of the so-called “peplomer” found on the surface of the virus that causes Covid-19.

On the other hand, the Janssen vaccine is a “recombinant vector vaccine” that uses human adenovirus to express the virus spike protein in the cell.

How can I know that a vaccine is safe?

None of these vaccines use the live virus that causes Covid-19 and do not alter or interact with DNA.

It must also be approved by Medsafe and comply with international standards and regional requirements for quality, safety and effectiveness before being used in New Zealand.

Although Medsafe streamlines the evaluation process and prioritizes vaccine evaluation over other medicines, it still has the same rigorous level of scrutiny that all medicines receive.

The New Zealand location near the back of the global queue means that regulators have more time to evaluate, primarily due to successful responses to wipe out local transmissions.

Are there any side effects?

Yes, there are side effects. Some people have nothing, others feel that the colors are quite different for a day or two.

These effects are related to the immune response, and experts say it can be seen as a positive sign of responding to the vaccine.

In general, all side effects are fairly minor and do not last long. Even the slightest illness of Covid lasts much longer.

Pfizer vaccines do not contain live viruses, so people with a compromised immune system are at no risk of replicating live viruses. Covid is not available from these vaccines.

How much does it cost to get the vaccine?

The government has announced that Covid-19 vaccination will be free and voluntary for everyone in the country, regardless of visa status.

The Pfizer vaccine was first approved in New Zealand. Photo / AP
The Pfizer vaccine was first approved in New Zealand. Photo / AP

Over $ 66 million has been allocated to support the deployment of the vaccine. Most of this government spending is to vaccinate our entire population and pay enough supplies to support countries in the Pacific region.

Who can get the vaccine?

In New Zealand, anyone over the age of 16 can be vaccinated. This means that citizens, residents and workers can get visas regardless of their status.

The Pfizer vaccine has not been approved in children under the age of 16 and Langatahi because it has not been tested in that age group.

The government said the decision could be revisited as more information became available.

How many people does the government want to be vaccinated?

Ideally-at least 90 percent of the population.

Bloomfield states that 70% vaccination is the minimum requirement for herd immunity, depending on factors such as vaccine efficacy.

However, according to a study, only about 70% of New Zealanders are ready to be vaccinated, and an additional 20% (“vaccine hesitants”) will be vaccinated if they are confident that they are safe. Probably.

About 10% said they wouldn’t.

The government has promised to carry out a large-scale public education and awareness campaign to ensure that people are informed in parallel with the deployment of the vaccine.

Who will be vaccinated?

The government plans an additional 2000-3000 full-time vaccinated persons to be trained and available throughout New Zealand when needed.

This workforce will continue to grow throughout 2021 in line with the vaccine delivery schedule.

The ministry also contracts with the Immunology Advisory Center to provide training on the Covid-19 vaccine. It will begin this month for vaccinated people, first providing Pfizer vaccines, then nurses, doctors and pharmacists.

Is there an expiration date for the vaccine?

Okay. Once the Covid vaccine is removed from the ultra-low temperature freezer, it should be used within a few days. Otherwise it will expire. Transporting the exact doses needed to community-based frontline workers is important to prevent waste.

Vaccines must be stored at very low temperatures and are stored in nine -80 ° C freezers that can be stored a total of 1.5 million times or more.

They are in Auckland and the South Island. However, the vaccine can be stored in a regular cold chain refrigerator at a temperature of 2-8 ° C for up to 5 days and at room temperature for up to 2 hours before use, so the vaccine will be administered in the following regions across the country: Border or MIQ facility.

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