Policy Makers

RESEARCH // WHAT WE DO // Policy Makers

Policy Makers

The WHO’s established VACCINE SAFETY NET is a worldwide network of websites that provides reliable information on vaccine safety on the web.

Which COVID-19 vaccines are available?

The list below is for COVID-19 vaccines that have been given emergency licensure for use.  Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty,Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA 1273),Janssen/Ad26.COV 2.S SII/COVISHIELD and AstraZeneca/AZD1222 vaccines, Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine,Sinovac-CoronaVac,Bharat Biotech BBV152 COVAXIN vaccine, Other vaccines being used in other but not authorized by WHO: Sputnik V Read more :COVID-19 vaccines (who.int)

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Vaccination is safe and side effects from a vaccine are usually minor and temporary, such as a sore arm or mild fever, depending on the type of vaccine. More serious side effects are possible, but extremely rare. Any licensed vaccine is rigorously tested across multiple phases of trials before it is approved for use, and regularly reassessed once it is introduced. Scientists are also constantly monitoring information from several sources for any sign that a vaccine may cause health risks. (WHO) Read more :Regulation and quality control of vaccines (who.int)

Which vaccines are given to children?

Commonly recommended childhood vaccines include: Oral polio vaccine; BCG; Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis , Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b; and Pneumococcal conjugate.

 Is it safe to have multiple vaccines at once?

Yes it is safe. It is possible to get multiple vaccines at once. Indeed in the childhood vaccination schedule, certain vaccines are combined in a single shot as is the case with diphtheria-tetanus and pertussis (DTP) vaccines. Also, DTP can be given at the same time as the oral polio vaccine (OPV).

 What does the vaccination schedule look like?

A vaccine schedule is the recommended organization on how, who, and when vaccines are delivered to recipients taking into account the age, risk of exposure, level and duration of initial immune response,  and the prevailing service delivery mechanisms. An example of a schedule is the WHO recommended childhood schedule for most developing countries: BCG and OPV at birth; OPV1, DTP1 at six weeks; OPV2 & DTP2 at 10 weeks; OPV3 & DTP3 at 14 weeks and measles at 9 months. 

What are the types of vaccines available?

There are several different types of vaccines. Each type is designed to teach your immune system how to fight off certain kinds of germs—and the serious diseases they cause, the available technology, desired strength of immune response and characteristics of the disease causing germ. Based on a number of these factors, scientists decide which type of vaccine they will make. There are several types of vaccines, including: Inactivated vaccines: These are vaccines derived from the germ that cause disease that has been destroyed/killed and unable to cause disease, reproduce or grow. Live-attenuated vaccines: These are vaccines derived from the disease causing germ that has been partially destroyed to limit their ability to cause disease, grow or reproduce.  Subunit, recombinant, polysaccharide, and conjugate vaccines: These vaccines use specific pieces of the germ such as its proteins, sugar, or casing as signature that would trigger an immune response when introduced into a human body Toxoid vaccines: These vaccines use a harmful product (toxin) naturally produced by the disease causing organism. Examples include tetanus toxoid vaccine. Viral vector vaccines: These vaccines are made through use of a different virus, such as the adenovirus, that has been modified for the purpose of delivering genetic material for a desired viral antigen, such as the spike protein for SAR-CoV-2 virus,  into the human cells. As a result the virus infected human cell receives the instructions and starts making the antigens against which the body mounts an immune response.  Nucleic acid (Messenger RNA (mRNA)): These vaccines use a component of the virus (mRNA) which the virus uses to manufacture other molecules needed for its own propagation. When introduced into a human body through a vaccine, the viral mRNA instructs the human cells to make a protein that triggers an immune response just like a natural infection would. This approach is a new technology and has been used in some of the COVID-19 vaccines.

How do vaccines work?

Vaccines generally work through provoking the body into developing and mounting an immune response by imitating an infection. As a result the body produces specialized immune cells and antibodies against the target organisms. The initial exposure (vaccination) also makes the body “remember”” past exposures and thus mount a quicker response in future exposures to the same disease causing agent.

What are vaccines?

A preparation that is used to stimulate the body’s immune response against diseases. Vaccines are usually administered through needle injections, but some can be administered by mouth or sprayed into the nose. (Understanding How Vaccines Work | CDC)