What are the approved vaccines and how do they work?

What are the approved vaccines and how do they work?
What are the approved vaccines and how do they work?

Vaccines: The function of vaccines against the coronavirus is based on the preparation of the individual’s immune system, i.e. the natural defense of our body, so that it recognizes the specific disease and protects us from it.

Which vaccines are given in Greece?

  • The first vaccine that came to Greece was the MRNA vaccine from BIONTECH/PFIZER. This vaccine is given in two doses. The second dose is given 3 weeks after the first.
  • In the same way, MODERNA’s MRNA vaccine also began to be administered in our country.
  • The third vaccine administered in our country is that of ASTRAZENECA which is also administered in 2 doses. The second dose is given 3 months after the first.
  • Also provided is the JOHNSON & JOHNSON vaccine, which is given in one dose.

At what ages are they administered?

Vaccines from all four companies (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca) are available for all citizens 5 years and older. The National Immunization Committee recommends that citizens only get the AstraZeneca vaccine if they are over 60 years old,

Which vaccines are given in the booster dose?

Comprehensive vaccination with 2 doses of Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca. Vaccination is recommended at least 3 months later, with one dose of Pfizer or half dose of Moderna

Complete vaccination with 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson. Vaccination recommended at least 2 months later, with one dose of Pfizer, J&J or half dose of Moderna

1st dose with Pfizer, Moderna or Astra Zeneca vaccine. 2nd dose with J&J vaccine. The National Immunization Committee does not recommend vaccination with a booster dose

Vaccination with booster dose & disease

Illness before vaccination .1 dose of J&J vaccine .A booster dose recommended at least 3 months later with one dose of Pfizer, J&J or half dose of Moderna

Vaccination with Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca. A booster dose at least 3 months later with one dose of Pfizer or half a dose of Moderna is recommended

1st dose with Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca. Disease after the 1st dose of vaccination. Vaccination 3 months after illness with one dose of Pfizer or Moderna (full dose) is recommended to complete vaccination. A booster dose is recommended 3 months after the 2nd dose with 1 dose of Pfizer or Moderna half dose

Completion of vaccination with J&J. Illness after vaccination. Vaccination recommended 3 months after illness with one dose of Pfizer, half dose of Moderna or J&J

Complete vaccination with 2 doses of Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca. Illness after vaccination. Vaccination 3 months after illness with one dose of Pfizer or half dose of Moderna is recommended

The time to rise of antibodies after the third dose is rapid, it is rapid, within one to three days, since the third dose induces a secondary immune response. According to scientific data, the booster dose increases by 20 times the level of neutralizing antibodies and triples the number of memory T and B lymphocytes. According to the CDC, in fact, the third dose with the appearance of the “Omicron” variant is not a luxury or excess but absolute necessity.

Antiviral pills against covid-19 available

Molnupiravir antiviral pills against covid-19 have been made available to high-risk citizens over the age of 18 with a positive test, rapid or PCR, a. The pills will not be given to pregnant women, while they will be delivered at home, which is important to reduce the suffering of the citizens.

The attending physician will submit an application and the drug administration committee will respond within 24 hours. An sms is sent to both the doctor and the patient and the EOPYY communicates with the patient, who gives his consent for the medicine on a special platform and then the patient’s address is confirmed to receive the pills

The process of assigning vaccines to the E.U

Vaccines against the coronavirus undergo rigorous testing to assess their safety and effectiveness. Once approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), their gradual availability begins.

EU member states are supplied in proportion to their population, based on the pre-purchase agreements concluded centrally by the European Commission with the companies producing the vaccines.

Greece, as a member of the European Union, is entitled to and has secured access to a sufficient number of vaccines – available and future – to cover the entire population of the territory. Specifically, our country accounts for 2.36 – 2.39% of the number of vaccine doses, which will be provided by the EU.

The safety and effectiveness of vaccines is constantly checked by Greek and international organizations

The National Vaccination Committee in our country monitors all international reports and developments concerning the effectiveness and safety of vaccines used in Greece. The pharmacovigilance committee of the EOF accepts all reports of any adverse effects and investigates whether they are related to the vaccination or not.

In the issue of vaccines from the first moment, the Greek Ministry of Health has been drawn up with the decisions of the EMA (European Medicines Agency) and the WHO and in collaboration with the EOF and the National Immunization Committee, follows their instructions, when safety issues arise of vaccines.

Immunity is key

Vaccination against COVID-19 involves provoking a response against a protein – either all or part of it – that is only found in the virus that causes COVID-19. When a person receives the vaccine an immune response is created.

Most COVID-19 vaccines require two doses to produce immunity. If the person is later infected with the virus, the immune system is able to recognize it. Then it is already prepared to attack him. Of course, there are cases where the vaccinated actually get sick with one or two doses.

From the total number of vaccinated people, with the data available to date, the percentage of these people is of the order of 0.2%, according to the president of the Vaccination Committee, M. Theodoridou, who characterizes this phenomenon as “expected” as she explains: ” No vaccine is 100% effective. But the percentage, if the vaccination is done correctly, is extremely small and this should not be an excuse for not vaccinating. Those vaccinated who get sick are mildly or completely asymptomatic.”

According to recent data, no danger signal is detected from vaccinations of pregnant women. Vaccines that do not contain any living organisms can be given to pregnant women, without any tests beforehand. Breastfeeding is also safe.

Also, from time to time, experts have emphasized that when someone is vaccinated it does not mean that they stop being careful and wearing a mask, keeping their distance and washing their hands.

Nucleic Acid (MRNA) Vaccines

Of these vaccines, those of the companies BIONTECH/PFIZER & MODERNA have already started to be administered in our country. A vaccine of this category is also manufactured by the Cure Vac company.

This type of vaccine contains part of the “instructions” from the virus that causes COVID-19. This allows the body’s own cells to produce a protein found only in that particular virus.

The person’s immune system recognizes that the protein in question should not be in the body and responds by building a natural defense against the COVID-19 infection.

Viral vector vaccines

This category includes the ASTRAZENECA vaccine which is already administered in our country and the JOHNSON & JOHNSON vaccine, the first doses of which are expected in April in Greece.

This type of vaccine uses another, harmless virus to carry “instructions” from the virus that causes COVID-19. This allows the body’s own cells to produce the protein found only in the COVID-19 virus.

The person’s immune system recognizes that the protein in question should not be in the body and responds by building a natural defense against the COVID-19 infection.

Protein-based vaccines

This category includes the SANOFI/GSK vaccine, a quantity of which is destined by the EU for our country in the coming months. This type of vaccine contains parts of a protein found only in that particular virus.

These fragments are enough for the person’s immune system to recognize that the protein in question should not be in the body and respond by building a natural defense against the COVID-19 infection.

The benefits of vaccination

By helping to keep more people healthy, vaccination helps reduce the social and psychological impact of disease on people and eases the burden on hospitals and healthcare systems. This means that resources can be allocated to fighting other diseases.

The article is in Greek

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