COVID-19: One year on
As we look back on the past year, we need to evaluate the effects of COVID-19, as well as understanding the importance of staying up to date with the latest developments for vaccines and preventative measures.
Over the past year, there have been multiple companies that have developed vaccines. 184 vaccines have been developed world wide, with 13 being approved so far with various efficacies and side effects. It is important to do your research regarding the vaccines available in your country. As part of the vaccination drive, we focus on achieving herd immunity. A lot of people don’t fully understand what this exactly entails.
Understanding Herd Immunity
‘Herd immunity’, also known as ‘population immunity’, is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that is achieved either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection. WHO supports achieving ‘herd immunity’ through vaccination, not by allowing a disease to spread through any segment of the population, as this would result in unnecessary cases and deaths. (WHO Website 31 December 2020)
One major potential barrier to the success of COVID-19 vaccinations is a negative public opinion of the vaccine. A June 2020 survey found that 71.5% of people participating would be very or somewhat likely to take a COVID-19 vaccine, leaving almost a third less accepting of the vaccine. Some populations, in particular, have even lower acceptance rates; in Russia, for example, less than 55% of those surveyed would accept the vaccine. If significant portions of the population were to reject the vaccine, this could have a serious impact on the vaccine’s potential efficacy at controlling the spread of COVID-19. (News Medical)
In South Africa, you can register for your COVID-19 Vaccine, on the South African Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS)
The importance of respecting the preventative measures
It is important to remember to wear your masks when out in public, or when you are gathering in large groups. It is also important to take note of the preventative benefits when choosing the correct mask for you.
By maintaining Social Distance of at least 1.5m (depending on the country), you are assisting in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. By practising good hygiene, washing your hands, and sanitising regularly, you are eradicating germs and keeping those around you safe. Additionally these practices have the benefit of keeping you safer from the upcoming flu season.