COVID-19 vaccine development and clinical trials have been carried out last year ever since the outbreak of the virus became uncontrolled and claims many lives. This leads to big pharmaceutical companies to develop a vaccine and test it to see whether it can reduce the risk of transmission of the virus to other people. Based on the clinical trial results, it is seen that COVID-19 vaccine Malaysia has greatly reduced the number of deaths, daily cases and hospitalizations.
However, not everyone is eligible to receive vaccinations and this can be seen in the vaccine for other diseases as well. Only a small number of populations are unable to receive them due to certain conditions but they are protected from the diseases due to the majority of the people around them are vaccinated and this is known as herd immunity.
There are certain groups that need extra precautions prior to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine due to it can cause side effects to the receiver and as well as there is limited data on the effects of the vaccine to these individuals when it is administered.
In summary these are the groups of people that need extra precautions prior to receiving the vaccine:
- Individuals were infected by COVID-19 virus recently. However, the vaccine is not contraindicated to them but they can only receive the vaccine 90 days post-infection.
- Pregnant and lactating mothers. Due to the limited data, the mothers are exempted from receiving the vaccine. However, the vaccine can be given after thorough assessment and the benefits outweigh the risks.
- Individuals who are allergic towards any vaccine or the ingredients used to manufacture the vaccine.
- Individuals who showed a serious allergic reaction after the first dose administration of COVID-19 vaccine.
- Individuals with a weakened immune system such as HIV/AIDS patients, cancer patients or patients with autoimmune diseases.
However, it is recommended for these groups of people to consult with their healthcare provider beforehand so that they can get assessed thoroughly before receiving the vaccine. After all it is based on the decision of the physicians whether they are deemed fit to be vaccinated or otherwise.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has outlined these groups of individual are contraindicated to receive the vaccine:
- Individual with severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) after a dose or to a component of the COVID-19 vaccine
- Showing immediate allergic reaction to a previous dose or known allergy to a component of the vaccine
Therefore if you have any known allergies or experienced severe allergic reactions after receiving any vaccines, you should inform your doctor so that further evaluation can be done. Other than that, you need to see a doctor if you are unsure about your allergy status and severity of your allergy.
For individuals with a weakened immune system, they can receive the vaccine after a full evaluation by the doctors and take into account their immunity status, full medical history and the vaccination benefits outweigh the risks to them.
To conclude, if you fall under the list mentioned above, please see your doctor and get a consultation to see whether you can benefit from the vaccination or vice versa. More data and information regarding the vaccine needs to be gathered so that improvements can be made for a newer and better COVID-19 vaccine development in the future.