The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on elderly people, with high infection and mortality rates. This led to a lot of concerns for those who are under home health care services. But with the arrival of vaccines from different manufacturers, comes hope for seniors. So, let’s take a look at what available ones are there and what seniors need to know before getting their jabs.
COVID-19 Vaccine no. 1: Pfizer-BioNtech
This vaccine was developed by American pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNtech. It was first rolled out for testing in the last quarter of 2020 and was eventually approved for general use in early 2021.
The Pfizer vaccine is of the mRNA type. It works by injecting a specially-prepared piece of genetic material (mRNA) into the patient’s immune cells. The mRNA instructs the cells to manufacture spike proteins that then trigger the body’s immune system to respond. This results in the development of antibodies that fight off future infections.
People 16 years and older can get the vaccine, which is administered in two shots. You need to receive the shots three weeks from each other. Two weeks after the second shot, you are considered to be fully vaccinated.
According to the latest federal studies, the Pfizer vaccine has an efficacy rate of around 94% for adults 65 years old and above. Meanwhile, those who have received only the first shot are still 64% less likely to be hospitalized.
Side Effects And Precautions
During the clinical trials and current vaccination drives, patients have reported the following side effects.
- In the arm where the injection went
- Throughout your body
- Muscle pain
The side effects start showing within the day after you get the shot. They eventually disappear within just a few days. Do note that these symptoms might affect how you do activities, so you should rest after receiving your shots.
If you do get a severe allergic reaction, it is best to inform your doctor quickly. Such reactions typically appear 4 hours after vaccine administration. In such cases, your doctor might advise you to switch to a different vaccine type if you only have your first shat.
COVID-19 Vaccine No. 2 Moderna mRNA-1273
Manufactured by Massachusetts-based biotechnology firm ModernaTX, Inc., this is the second COVID-19 vaccine currently approved for use in the US. It was first rolled out for clinical trials in February of 2021 and approved later for use in different countries around the world.
Like the Pfizer one, Modern is an mRNA type of vaccine. It is applicable for people 18 years old and above. It is also currently undergoing clinical trials to determine its applicability for children 12 years old and below.
The vaccine is administered in two shots, 28 days apart from each other. You are considered to be fully immunized two weeks after receiving your second shot.
Modern’s vaccine is shown to have an efficacy rate of 94.1% for the general population. That figure is slightly lower for people 65 years and older during the trials. However, the company said that this might be due to a limited number of senior participants during the tests. Nevertheless, the difference in efficacy between the two age groups is very small.
Side Effects and Precautions
As they have the same mechanism, the side effects of the Moderna vaccine are similar to that of the Pfizer one. Note that these might slightly vary across omdovodias. Additionally, more people who have taken Moderna reported the side effects compared to those who took Pfizer. In case you experience a symptom that is not found in the above list, consult your doctor.
You can lessen the side effects by simply moving your arm around. You would also want to drink a lot of fluids. In more intense cases, you can take pain relievers like ibuprofen or aspirin. But be sure to consult your doctor before taking them in case you have other existing medical conditions.
COVID-19 Vaccine no. 3: Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine
This vaccine is manufactured by the pharmaceutical arm of the multinational company Johnsons & Johnsons. It is the third of the three COVID vaccines currently approved for use in the United States.
The company conducted phase 3 trials starting October of 2020. Nevertheless, the US Food and Drug Administration granted it an emergency use authorization after seeing promising results during the early trials.
Unlike the first two, the Janssen vaccine uses a viral vector mechanism to provide immunity. In this type of vaccine, a small amount of harmless virus is injected into the body. That virus triggers the formation of spike proteins that then causes the body to produce antibodies.
In several clinical trials, the Janssen vaccine registered an efficacy rate of 66.3%. This might seem significantly lower compared to the first two vaccines. But you need to note that Janssen has a different make. It is also worth noting that efficacy rate varied in different regions, with the United States trials registering a 72%
Another thing is that the Janssen vaccine is shown to provide 85% efficacy against severe infections. Furthermore, there is less variability across countries and age groups. This is significant, as it means fewer chances of hospitalization.
Compared to the first two, Janssen is a single-shot vaccine. You get full immunity two weeks after getting the shot. However, Johnsons & Johnsons are also currently testing a two-shot regimen that is administered eight weeks apart.
Side Effects And Precautions
The side effects of the Janssen vaccine are fairly similar to the other two. As such, you can lessen them in the same way. A few patients have reported fainting after getting the shot. However, this is also considered to be normal, if uncommon.
Get Vaccinated And Protect Yourself From COVID-19
All of the three COVID-19 vaccines above have been marked safe by US health authorities for use by senior citizens. As such, those who are under home health care programs can sign up for their shots without worry. So don’t hesitate and get your shot today.