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The safest and most effective way to prevent yourself from getting infected with covid 19 is by getting the vaccine. Individuals with an increased risk of contracting coronavirus, such as the elderly or those with preexisting health conditions, have largely benefited from the vaccines. Many people have embraced vaccination. And this has resulted in a decrease in the number of patients hospitalized because of serious illness. Notably, cases of deaths related to covid 19 infections have also significantly reduced. But do you need a Covid 19 shot every year?
Since it is evident that people are still getting infected with covid 19, it is important that you buy rapid lateral flow tests from trusted providers to enable you to carry out frequent testing. Lateral flow tests are fast and convenient. They allow individuals to test themselves and their loved ones in the comfort of their homes. That said, this article emphasizes the need to have a COVID-19 shot every year.
Here is what you need to know.
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Understanding the Nature of COVID-19
Covid 19 is a dynamic adversary caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Initially, people would make long queues outside clinics with laboratories to test for covid 19. Today, antigen rapid tests have made it easy for individuals to know whether they have contracted the virus without visiting a healthcare facility.
Since it was first discovered, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has portrayed its ability to mutate into new variants. These have been problematic to the efforts put in place by public health officials and vaccine developers. The variants have affected the transmissibility of the virus, the severity of the illness for the infected persons, and the effectiveness of the vaccines produced to prevent infections.
Initial Vaccination and Its Effectiveness
One of the most important factors to consider in efforts to control the spread of the virus and the prevention of severe illness is the effectiveness of the vaccines. Different technologies have played a crucial role in developing the initial COVID-19 vaccine. Some of them include the viral vector and the mRNA. Rigorous testing during clinical trials took place to ascertain the efficacy and safety of the vaccines.
It is important to note that different vaccines have different efficacy rates. The ones that were authorized portrayed high levels of efficacy. Individuals who have had the vaccine may contract the virus. However, they are less likely to exhibit severe symptoms. Individuals who are yet to be vaccinated are at a higher risk of experiencing severe symptoms, hospitalization, or death. The vaccine has promoted community-level protection as there is a lower likelihood for vaccinated individuals to spread the virus.
Why You Need a COVID-19 Shot Every Year
Mass vaccination campaigns have been instrumental in the reduction of COVID-19 cases among populations. To achieve herd immunity within different communities, healthcare providers must have effective strategies for high vaccination coverage. This has worked in most countries, especially in the UK. As of 2 March 2023, 75.8% of people aged 18 years and above had gotten not less than three covid 19 vaccinations. In fact, older people or those at risk due to other health conditions have taken their fourth and fifth doses.
It has been evident that covid 19 vaccines are effective in preventing individuals from becoming seriously ill, being hospitalized, or dying due to the severity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. However, it is important to note that vaccine immunity starts to lessen over time. For instance, after taking the third dose of the mRNA vaccine, the protection you get against the amicron starts to wane by the fourth month.
That means people who were immunized a few years ago could test positive for the virus and may be at risk of getting severely affected by the infection. It is better to embrace the booster vaccines as they can safeguard you from variants that are more recent.
Remember, the initial vaccines may not have been amended in such a way that they can protect you from current variants. That said, avoid neglecting your flu vaccine. It is important to also get your flu jab, especially in readiness for the winter season. Understand that different vaccines are designed to combat different viruses.
Expert Recommendations and Guidelines
As the war against covid 19 continues, there has been a great need for clarity as to whether it is important for individuals to get their yearly vaccine shots or not. It is important to consider the experts to gain clarity on the matter.
The leading health organizations around the globe, which are the WHO (World Health Organization), and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), among other health agencies, have been at the forefront when it comes to shaping vaccination strategies. They have been instrumental in assessing how the pandemic landscape has evolved. From The most recent scientific evidence they gathered, they have been able to issue the required directives in the war against covid 19.
They have been conducting an ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of all COVID-19 vaccines. And they have been looking at the duration of the immunity provided by the vaccines, the emergence of mutations, and the real-world data reflecting the real-world breakthroughs.
To enhance and prolong the protection individuals get from the vaccines and to address the challenge of the potential waning over time, experts highly recommend that individuals get their covid 19 yearly shot. That said, the following categories of individuals should not miss these vaccines as they are the most vulnerable.
- People living in adult care homes
- Individuals aged 65 years and above
- Social care workers and all the frontline healthcare workers
- People who are in a clinical risk group and are aged between 6 months and 64 years
- Staff and caregivers working in adult care homes.
- Close contacts of individuals with immunosuppression