|The Covid-19 pandemic has reached across the world, the worst pandemic in our modern history.
There can therefore be no doubt that vaccination is essential to help curb the terrifying spread of this killer-virus.
|So, we are going to take a very serious look at this whole situation and the preventive measures that humanity must take. We will be asking why vaccination is important. We will establish the real facts about the Covid vaccines. And we will also expose the fake information that seems to have become so fashionable in all the social online media across the world. Also of great importance in this whole debate, is the need to take a medically informed and expert look at the status of our national vaccine rollout – and the challenges that our country has to face.|
|So let’s begin with the Anglican Church’s response to the question: “why is vaccination important or necessary?”|
|The Church needs to point out that not a single informed medical professional has contested the fact the COVID-19 vaccines produce protection against the disease,|
|And this is definitely as a result of the fact that people develop an immune response to the SARS-Cov-2 virus from the vaccination.|
|By ‘immune response’ we are specifically saying that medical specialists agree worldwide: that vaccination helps our bodies to resist and fight the disease.|
|So, what are the medical experts saying? There is no doubt that developing immunity through vaccination means there is a reduced risk of developing the illness, a reduced risk of severe illness and a reduction in deaths. In a nut shell, this immunity helps you to fight the virus if you are exposed to it.|
|But it goes even further than that. Getting vaccinated also protects people around you, because you are less likely to infect someone else – especially people who are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as older or elderly adults and people with other medical conditions.|
|And there are specific sectors of our society who are at greater risk than others, like healthcare workers, for example.|
|To get right down to the facts about vaccination. Let’s start with this: What is in a vaccine?|
|The first fact about vaccines we must know is that there is NO such thing as a ‘live vaccine. To put it simply, you cannot get a Covid infection from the vaccine. Finish and klaar!|
|But that is only the start of the facts about Covid vaccination. There are PIECES of the virus (it’s called a protein sequence) that allows the body’s immune system to make antibodies – that is like having soldiers in your blood to fight against the disease .|
|That means you can fight the infection if you do get infected. These vaccines can be described as pieces of protein that are either injected directly into your body… we call it getting a ‘jab’|
|It can also be achieved via another virus, which is also called a ‘vector’. In these times it is important that we get used to the medical terms that describe the world we are now living in. You see the names all over the place, in the Press and on the TV – names like ‘JnJ, AZ and Sputnik’.|
|Some vaccines have the so-called “recipe” to stimulate your body to make the protein and then to form the antibody you need. These are called Messenger RNA vaccines. (Or just mRNA, for short.)|
|The fact is that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed tremendous pressures on drug developers. An effective and safe vaccine can take more than 10 years to create and to test. But the global impact and spread of COVID-19 accelerated the production of the first vaccines, which were rolled out less than a year after the initial outbreak of the disease.|
|So, what we really are saying is that, ultimately, a new class of vaccines that are based on Messenger RNA technology (or mRNA, for short) was the first to be approved across much of the western world. It is said that RNA-type vaccines represent a promising alternative to manufacturing conventional vaccines because of their flexibility and rapid production speed. There are also other vaccines on the market, all fighting to save our lives, like ‘Pfizer’, Sinovac, and so on.|
|Some people may be worried that Covid has forced scientific research to take dangerous shortcuts. Is that true? To be very direct, the answer is, absolutely not! The Coronavirus family was a known virus, so what is called its ‘genetic code’ was already known. Not only that, but scientists across the world are sharing information, so that knowledge can become available faster.|
|Another fact: funding was available to fast-track testing trials and to run them in parallel, rather than in sequence. In other words at the same time, rather than one after the other. For example, two phases of a test trial could happen in different parts of the world at the same time.|
|So, what we are saying is that all the phases that were needed to assess and test safety, effectiveness and side-effects were done. Also important is to note that Medical Regulatory Bodies did not relax their conditions for vaccine registration. In fact, it is know that the South African Regulatory Authority is particularly strict about vaccines,|
|We are now reaching the stage in this discussion where we can get a good idea of what Covid vaccination is all about. But people still have many questions. Let’s look at some of those and provide the answers in this ACSA Discussion.|
|For example, can the vaccine give you Covid?
The answer is no, it cannot give you COVID and there is no live virus in any of the vaccines. Actually, if you do test positive after vaccination, chances are you were infected within 2-3 days of getting the vaccine.
Here is another important question: If I get Covid, do I still need the vaccine?
Again, straight from the shoulder, yes, you do, because it will give you immunity against other variants. Also, mild or asymptomatic patients have a weaker natural immune response and they are therefore not well protected. You must get vaccinated after 30 days, and up to 3 months, after being infected.
Then, If someone dies after vaccinating is it because of the vaccine? And again, the answer is a definite ‘No!’
|And now it is time for some general information about Covid… things that people have been asking, or even worrying, about. Let me start like this: Every death within a month is investigated.|
|Over 100 million vaccines have now been administered worldwide and there is no emergence of any vaccine as a cause of death. However, to date, South Africa is concerned about 28 reported cases that are being investigated, The early findings are pointing to things like old age, diabetes, obesity and people who were already ill at the time of vaccination. The investigation is still ongoing. In fact, the evidence is indicating the opposite – protection against death is almost 100%.|
|People also ask, what protection does a vaccine offer? People are still getting infected. The answer to this question is very direct: The vaccine protects against severe consequences (and I am underlining those two words, meaning things like hospitalisation and death).
But some say that you can get infected after the vaccine is given. The actual fact is, evidence shows that 95% of re-infection is mild, and 3% is moderate. Only 0.03% of health workers got severely ill after vaccinating – this, according to recent evidence from the Sisonke trial to protect healthcare workers. And, by the way, just in passing, ‘Sisonke’ is not the same as a clinical trial. Rather it is a way that research can help to make a vaccine available while the licensing process takes place.
Vaccination also results in you being LESS infective – you transmit less of the virus and therefore you are less of a risk to those around you.
And here is another question that is often asked: How long does immunity last? Actually, this is an ongoing scientific question. To date, after one year, immunity is still STRONG, signalling the likelihood of many years of immunity.
|So, as you will have concluded by now, there are many questions in the public’s mind about Covid and vaccination… like, will only high risk groups perhaps be eligible for boosters? The answer is that we are still waiting for further studies to be done. And then, which vaccine is better? Are the Russian and Chinese ones as good as the Oxford one? The answer to this is straight forward: ALL vaccines in SA protect us against severe consequences. This is so because SA’s regulators have been very strict; not only on the science that is involved, but also about the quality of the manufacturing processes!|
|And what does one say to people who think they should wait and see what happens? Well, the truth is the risk of the COVID infection is much higher than the risk of having an adverse side effect. (SLIGHT CHUCKLE) Yes, we ride taxis knowing there is a risk of a fatal crash, but we do it because the risk is small. It is really the same with vaccines.|
|ACSA’s response to this discussion is to the point. They say…
• We need to respond similar to HIV – if we don’t get everyone vaccinated we will have wave after wave and variant after variant!!!
• Dioceses should appoint VACCINE CO-ORDINATORS
• Archdeaconries should appoint VACCINE CHAMPIONS
• Parishes need VACCINE ORGANISERS – reach, teach, organise and take for vaccination.
• Our parishioners – especially the poor and marginalised, the economically disadvantaged – are bearing the brunt of this pandemic – we must ACT!!
|Let’s end our ACSA Discussion with a few general questions. One: Are Vitamin Boosters necessary? The answer is that vitamins do not boost the immune system significantly. It is not worth the cost – but if you feel good, do it (And that is true also of home remedies). And what about Ivermictin? We hear a lot about that. Yes, some of the science is saying it is not effective and that what some doctors are claiming cannot be proven by science. There are also those who say Ivermictin is a drug for PARASITES, not for VIRUSES. All this just goes to show there will always be those who agree and those who disagree!|
|Our Minister of Health, Dr. Joe Mphaahla, says he want to have at least 70% of all our people inoculated by December this year. ACSA Discussion asks you to queue up and help him to achieve that objective. Be Clever, Be Safe. Be Inoculated!|