Understandably, people are concerned about the COVID-19 vaccine because there have been some reports of side effects. However, most experts believe it's safe for several reasons — such as how effective and long-lasting its protection is against variant strains. Even with these facts in mind, many still refuse to take the risk or don't know what they're risking by not taking it - but one thing remains certain: we'll never be able to learn more if those who haven't taken up their offer do nothing at all!
The advent of new vaccines like COVID-19 has sparked debate among scientists over whether or not this may be too much strain on our immune system – despite promising research results from clinical trials which show
Who should not take the vaccine?
Although COVID-19 vaccines are now available to the public, some individuals should not get vaccinated.
First, let’s talk about people with allergies. Should they get the COVID vaccine? Singapore Ministry of Health has provided a vaccine information sheet (Pfizer link and Moderna link) to serve as a guideline for Singaporeans about frequently asked questions.
Yes, people with allergies can get vaccinated only if they are not experiencing either of these two types of severe allergic reactions:
- Any individual who has a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis to any COVID vaccine ingredients should refrain from receiving the vaccine.
- Those individuals who have severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis to any type of vaccine or injectable medication should consult a physician to determine the risk of taking the vaccine.
On the other hand, anyone with severe allergic reactions to oral medications, foods, pets, insects, or surroundings may receive the vaccine without hesitation.
However, those people with severe allergies are required to take a 30-minute observation period after getting vaccinated to determine if there’s any negative reaction.
If You Are Allergic to an Ingredient in a COVID-19 Vaccine
There may be an instance where you have allergies to any ingredient of a COVID vaccine. In that case, you should immediately consult your doctor and ask if it would be better if you get a different type of COVID vaccine. That is the only way to ensure that you don’t suffer any allergic reactions. If you want to know what ingredients are in the COVID vaccine, you can learn about the different types of COVID-19 vaccines here.
If you had COVID-19 and recovered
If you already had COVID-19 and recovered, you still should be vaccinated. The very reason for this is because medical experts are not yet fully aware of how long you are protected from getting the virus again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered, there is still a possibility - although very rare - that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again.
In case you were treated for COVID-19 with antibodies, you should wait for a minimum of 90 days or three months before getting a COVID vaccine. But the best thing is to discuss the situation with your doctor to avoid any kind of risk.
If you actively have COVID-19
If you are currently sick with COVID-19, you are not allowed to get the vaccination. You should wait until you fully recover from the illness and have successfully met certain criteria for discontinuing the isolation process. The same procedure also applies to any individuals who get COVID-19 before they get the second dose of vaccine.
People with vaccine allergies
People who are suspected of having allergies to a vaccine or its components should be thoroughly evaluated by a doctor, A medical history of the person who has vaccine allergies should be recorded to analyse the nature and timing of the reaction to the vaccine and its components.
On the other hand, people with other allergies such as food and mold allergies should be good to be vaccinated. And still, the best thing for you to do is talk to your doctor.
People with underlying medical conditions and the elderly
Based on current details, older adults and individuals with serious underlying medical conditions are said to be at higher risk for severe illness with COVID-19. However, they can get the COVID-19 vaccine without having trouble with their conditions.
Trials that were conducted in different countries have included participants with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or asthma. The results showed that the COVID vaccines were safe in such groups.
However, children under 16 years of age are not allowed to be vaccinated since COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested in children under 16 years old.
What about Pregnant or breastfeeding Women?
There are not enough details on whether or not it is advisable to administer the COVID vaccine if pregnant or breastfeeding since they were not included in any clinical trials of the vaccines. Though there is an argument to receive the COVID vaccine, pregnancy or pregnant women as well as breastfeeding women are especially encouraged if they belong in high-risk groups.
The WHO said that vaccination for pregnant and breastfeeding women should be discussed thoroughly with their respective health providers prior to vaccination.
If you had an allergic reaction to a previous shot of an mRNA vaccine
mRNA vaccines are the latest type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. This type of vaccine teaches our cells how to produce protein or at least a piece of protein that will trigger an immune response inside our bodies.
Although mRNA vaccines possess the benefits of not having the risk of serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19, people who are allergic to an mRNA vaccine are advised not to get either of the available mRNA COVID vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna).
And in case that you develop an allergic reaction to a previous shot of an mRNA vaccine, the best thing to do is ask your doctor if he will recommend you to get a different type of COVID-19 vaccine.
Staying safe and healthy during this pandemic is imperative. Talk regularly to your healthcare provider about your conditions and updates of vaccinations and other preventive services.