Why experts should know how people work against the COVID-19 vaccine

Written by Adekunle Yusuf

Medical scientists have explained why people should expand their understanding of how COVID-19 vaccines work.

With the help of fears about the safety of taking COVID-19 stings, experts reiterated that vaccines are generally safe and effective. Side effects after vaccination are normal, they insisted.

These were some of the main points of the roundtable discussion on “Journalism, Pandemics and Vaccines: Where Are We Going From Here”, organized by the Nigeria Academy of Sciences (NAS) at the Sheraton and Towers Hotel, Lagos. It is organized, together with Vitafoam Nigeria Plc.

In his presentation, “COVID-19 vaccines: to take or not to take”, prof. Oyewale Tomori, chairman of the ministerial expert advisory committee for COVID-19, said it is quite misleading to compare vaccine efficacy results when it is obvious that different tests and trials are not conducted in the same climate.

Stressing that it is safer to get vaccinated, a well-known virologist said people need to know that immunity against COVID-19 does not begin immediately after vaccination.

According to him, it usually takes about 10 days or two weeks after a person is fully vaccinated for the body to build immunity against the virus that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get sick, he explained.

It is therefore possible that a person could become infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 immediately before or immediately after vaccination and then become ill because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection, he warned.

Prof. Tomori also added that sometimes after vaccination the process of building immunity in some people can cause symptoms like fever, adding that these symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building immunity. To be fully vaccinated, each person will need two injections of some COVID-19 vaccine. For a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two injections, a person is considered fully vaccinated only two weeks after taking the second injection; while the person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the COVID-19 vaccine, which requires only one injection, he said. He also warned that a person is not fully protected if less than two weeks have passed since the shooting or if another bullet still needs to be obtained. In all cases, Tomori said it was better to continue to take all preventive steps, insisting that even after a person has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, it is advisable to continue to take precautions in public places.

Presenting the paper on balanced reporting on complex science, dr. Olayinka Oyegbile, a media adviser, said journalism and science are two different disciplines. Journalism is an art, while science is a science, he said. However, journalism and science share an agenda, and that is digging up evidence to extract facts from experiments and research so that the outcome they represent is credible enough to accept, Oyegbile said.

They (journalism and science) do it through different values ​​and means, he stressed.

“A journalist is first and foremost a translator. He / she takes verified information and analyzes and then says what such information means to those concerned. That is why today we have journalists covering different spheres of life: we have environmental journalists, health journalists, economic journalists, political journalists, science journalists, sports journalists, art and culture journalists and so on. “

On how to balance science reporting, Oyegbile has ordered journalists to always read widely, especially books that can help them have a deeper knowledge of scientific issues in general, adding such acquired knowledge helps in understanding and breaking down complex scientific issues.

He advised journalists to recognize true scientists from those who seek attention and nurture a healthy relationship with those committed to scientific research, insisting that journalists are better off if they always take advantage of the training opportunities that abound.

President of NAS, prof. Ekanem Braide said the annual roundtable is necessary because it provides the Nigerian scientific community with the opportunity to interact with journalists on new national issues that can be addressed through the application of science and technology.

She said the public needs to be enlightened about COVID-19 issues, especially the benefits of non-pharmaceutical interventions when implemented.