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7 things you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine

We've got the answers to some of your most common questions about COVID-19 vaccines

We’re all eager to getting back to doing more of the things we enjoy with the people we love. The COVID-19 vaccine can help us achieve this.

When around 80% of people in our community are vaccinated, the circulation of a disease is slowed or stopped. People who are vaccinated protect those who are not. This is called herd or community immunity.

Sadly however, there’s a lot of anti-vaccine messages circulating that’s stirring up fear about the COVID-19 vaccine AND ignoring the serious risks posed by vaccine-preventable illnesses.

Which is why we’ve put together 7 things you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine so you can make the right choice for yourself and your loved ones.

1. What is vaccination?

Vaccines are simple, safe and an effective tool to fight against diseases. Unfortunately, vaccines have become a victim of their own success. They have been so successful in eradicating deadly diseases that the diseases are no longer visible, and some people may be complacent, and mistrusting of vaccines.

 

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A post shared by UNICEF Malaysia (@unicefmalaysia)

2. How do vaccines work?

Vaccines train our immune system to recognize the targeted virus and create antibodies to fight off the disease without getting the disease itself. After vaccination, the body is ready to fight the virus if it is later exposed to it, thereby preventing illness.

 

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A post shared by UNICEF Malaysia (@unicefmalaysia)

3. Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Yes it is. COVID-19 vaccines must go through rigorous testing in clinical trials to ensure they are safe to use. If it isn’t proven to be safe, the trial is cancelled. WHO and the Ministry of Health will only validate vaccines that meet internationally agreed benchmarks for safety and effectiveness. UNICEF will only procure and supply COVID-19 vaccines that meet WHO’s established safety and efficacy criteria and that have received the required regulatory approval.

4. Are there side effects from vaccines?

Vaccines are designed to give you immunity without the dangers of getting the disease. It’s common to experience some mild-to-moderate side effects when receiving vaccinations. This is because your immune system is instructing your body to react in certain ways: it increases blood flow so more immune cells can circulate, and it raises your body temperature to kill the virus.

Reported side effects of COVID-19 vaccines have mostly been mild to moderate and have lasted no longer than a few days. Typical side effects include pain at the injection site, fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills and diarrhoea.

Read more: Side Effects of COVID-19 Vaccines – WHO

5. Which COVID-19 vaccine is best for me?

The best vaccine to get is the one most readily available to you! All WHO-approved vaccines have been shown to be highly effective at protecting you against severe illness from COVID-19. When it’s your turn to actually get #vaccinated, that’s the time when you should get it and accept the vaccine that is offered to you.

6. When can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

All people in Malaysia who are 18 years old and above are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine. This is given for free by the Government of Malaysia.

Older people like our grandparents, elderly parents, aunts, uncles as well as those with underlying health conditions are more at risk of getting critically sick from COVID-19. That’s why the vaccines are being given to them first. If you’re a person in a high risk category please register so you can get vaccinated sooner than later.

And for those of us who are later in the queue, who don’t have any substantial high-risk exposures, let’s wait our turn. We will get vaccinated and we should accept the vaccine that’s offered regardless of what vaccine that is.

7. How can I register for the vaccine?

You can register for your vaccine today on your MySejahtera app. This is the easiest and most efficient way as your vaccination record will also be updated on the app. If you don’t have a smart phone and cannot download the app, here are other ways to register:

Given the infectiousness of COVID-19 and the new variants of concern such as Delta, it’s more important than ever to make sure we’re all vaccinated when it’s our turn. Help your grandparents, parents, elderly family members, neighbours to register if they do not know how to do it. No one is safe until we’re all safe.

 

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A post shared by UNICEF Malaysia (@unicefmalaysia)

As vaccines are rolling out and immunity is building, it is important to continue to follow all of the recommended measures that reduce the spread of COVID-19. This includes physically distancing yourself from others; wearing a mask, especially in crowded and poorly ventilated settings; cleaning your hands frequently; covering any cough or sneeze in your bent elbow; and opening windows when indoors.

Remember, #vaccineswork! 💙

Read More:

What you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines – UNICEF

5 crazy things you may have heard about Vaccines

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Bunny Wira

champion for children, hero in disguise. I love kangkung!
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