A large part of the world needs to be immunized against the virus to end this epidemic. This is the safest vaccine to achieve. Vaccination is a technology that has long been believed by humans to reduce the number of deaths from infectious diseases.
Less than 12 months after the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic, several research teams have developed a vaccine that protects against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 virus.
The challenge now is to make these vaccines available to people around the world. It is essential that people in every country have the protection they need, not just in rich countries.
Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine in South Asia
No one is safe until everyone is safe
Vaccination of the world against COVID-19 is one of the largest mass campaigns in human history – efforts are well underway.
But no one is safe until everyone is safe.
That is why UNICEF works with the World Health Organization, its partners, and governments around the world through the COVID facility. It is a global effort to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine reaches the most needed – wherever they are, wherever they live.
By 2021, COVAX aims to deliver 2 billion safe, effective, effective, and affordable COVID-19 injections to people worldwide.
As part of COVAX, UNICEF is leading the way in purchasing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines with decades of experience as the world’s largest vaccine buyer.
How do South Asian countries get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Vaccines are supplied to South Asian countries in various forms:
01: Via COVAX facility
The COVAX facility (UNICEF, WHO, and Partners) is part of a global effort to accelerate the development, production, and similar approach to COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination.
The COVAX facility aims to ensure that vaccines are evenly distribute. 190 countries have joined so far. COVAX stores the purchasing power in these countries to assist in the production and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. It buys vaccines directly from the manufacturers so that the vaccine is available to any country, regardless of their ability to pay, and they have the same access.
Through this partnership, COVAX will help the following countries:
- The early approach to effective vaccines.
- Access to the world’s largest and most diverse vaccine candidate portal.
- Adequate vaccination for 20% of their population.
Eight countries in the South Asian region – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka – all participate in the Kovacs facility.
02: Through each country’s government
Governments are in direct talks with various vaccine manufacturers and other governments to obtain vaccines for their citizens. These agreements exist at different times in each country.
When will my country receive the COVID-19 vaccine? ?
Vaccines obtained by governments
The governments of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka have already started vaccinating and obtaining directly from vaccine manufacturers. The Bhutanese government plans to launch the vaccine soon.
Health workers are among the first people in every country to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccines obtained via COVAX
The COVAX facility has already started administering the COVID-19 vaccine in South Asia.
In early March, more than a million vaccines landed in Nepal, the Maldives, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka. So
COVAX will continue to vaccinate the region throughout 2021, to help countries vaccinate 20 percent of their population – no country will be pushed behind the line.
What vaccine does my country receive? ?
Governments have finally announced the vaccines used in their countries.
More than 200 vaccine candidates are currently being developed and many are in the final stages of approval. Any vaccine approved by the World Health Organization is distributed through the COVAX facility. Once vaccines are proven to be safe, effective, effective, and available, COVAX will provide them.
The World Health Organization has already approved the Pfizer-Biotech, AstraZeneca-Oxford, and Johnson (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines. These are the first vaccines given via COVAX.
UNICEF has developed the COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard, which provides an overview of all vaccines in the pipeline globally, their development stages and supply agreements.
(See your Ministry of Health for more information on national vaccination plans in your country).
Who gets the COVID-19 vaccine first? ?
Vaccines can only be manufacture and distribute at a limited rate – it is important that those who need the vaccine get it first.
Governments must first determine which groups in their country should be vaccinated. but
The World Health Organization assists governments in determining their priority groups. They are advised to include priority groups:
- Frontline health and social care workers.
- People over 65 years of age.
- People under the age of 65 with the following health conditions are at higher risk of dying from COVID-19.
Who is the next priority for vaccination? ?
Priority groups Governments will identify new priority groups after vaccination and more.
UNICEF urges governments to prioritize healthcare, teachers, child care, and social work as soon as possible, and for children and communities to recover.
Is the vaccine free? ?
All vaccines distributed through the COVAX facility are free. So
Governments in South Asia have not announced any plans to charge for purchases made by their citizens.
Do I have side effects? ?
All vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, can cause minor side effects.
Side effects are a sign that the body is responding to the vaccine and that your body is building immune defenses.
Common side effects observed with COVID-19 injection:
- Some pain and swelling in the hand where you received the injection.
- Feeling cold or feverish.
- Management Headache.
- Illness (nausea).
- Joint pain or muscle aches.
These side effects usually go away within a few days.
After you are vaccinated, you will need to stay at the vaccination center for 20-30 minutes for observation. This is to monitor your reaction to the vaccine and make sure you seek help if you have severe side effects. So
Severe side effects are rare. But if they do, they are more likely to do so within the first 30 minutes after injection. Staying at the center during this period will allow the medical staff to treat you immediately if you have any serious side effects.
Can pregnant women be vaccinated?
The World Health Organization recommends that pregnant women not receive the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine at this time.
This is because pregnant women are not included in vaccine trials. Therefore, there is still no data on whether the vaccine is safe and effective for them.
However, pregnant women are at higher risk of receiving COVID-19 than pregnant women. Therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised pregnant women at high risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as health workers, to discuss vaccination options with their healthcare provider. So
Keep in mind that research is ongoing, and these tips will be reviewed when more data is available. We will keep you updated as we learn more. If you have problems, talk to your healthcare provider.
Guidelines for other vaccines and their suitability for pregnant women can be found at the vaccine manufacturers.
When should children be vaccinated? ?
At present, children under 16 years of age are not included in COVID-19 vaccine trials. This means that it is not yet clear whether these vaccines are safe and effective for children.
The World Health Organization says companies have already begun studies to look at younger age groups. After receiving these results, you can start prescribing the COVID-19 vaccine to children. We will keep you updated as we learn more.
Should I wear a mask after I have been vaccinated? ?
Yes. You should continue to wear a mask and wash your hands after being vaccinated for COVID-19.
This is because no vaccine is 100% effective. Also, the COVID-19 vaccine is effective in stopping the virus from growing in people, but we still do not know if they can infect others.
This means that until we know more, it is essential that everyone who gets the vaccine continues to take precautions such as physical distance, regular use of face masks, frequent hand washing with soap and clean water, and avoiding crowded places.
I had COVID-19. Do I still need a vaccine? ?
Yes. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 still be vaccinated.
This is because we still do not know how strong human safety will be after recovery from COVID-19 – or how long it will last.
This means that if you have had COVID-19 in the past, you still need to get vaccinated.
Should I go if I have COVID-19 symptoms while getting vaccinated? ?
If you have symptoms that suggest you have COVID-19 or COVID-19, do not go to see your vaccine.
This is because the virus can spread to others at the point where you are vaccinated.
You can get the vaccine 14 days after you last show symptoms of COVID-19.
How can COVID-19 vaccine prevent epidemics?
Vaccines are a sports exchange in the fight against COVID-19. But, they are not a silver bullet and the plague will not stop immediately.
The vaccine acts as a protective shield – protecting the vaccinated person and those around them from the virus. People who get vaccinated protect those who do not.
When more people are vaccinated, security builds up in the community – and the disease stops circulating. This is called ‘herd immunity’.
But the huge global demand for the COVID-19 vaccine means that it will take months or years to vaccinate enough people to build herd immunity globally.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. It is the fastest and most effective vaccine to restore the lives of children and families. But we must do what we can to help the process and protect our families and each other:
- Wash your hands with soap and water or a hand sanitizer for 40 seconds – whenever you can.
- Stay 6 feet away from other people.
- Meet people in a well-ventilated or outdoor space
- Wearing a mask when you can not stay away from others or in a public place.
This article was originally published on February 17, 2021. It was last updated on March 17, 2021. This article will be updated to reflect the latest information.