Covid-19 vaccines stimulate immune system ─ Minister Anthony addresses vaccination concerns

In light of concerns related to the Covid-19 vaccines, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony has clarified that the vaccines help the body to recognise the Coronavirus and stimulates the immune system to respond quickly.

The Minister on Thursday, debunked claims that the vaccines are weakening the immune system.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony, MP

“You have what is called an innate immune system, and an adaptive immune response. The innate response takes about seven days so if an unknown virus comes to your body and presents itself to your immune system that innate response takes at least seven days to be properly activated.

“… And after seven days, then the adaptive immunity kicks in. But in seven days, if you were infected with Covid, a lot of damage can be done. So that is why when you get a vaccine, it would prime your body so that instead of the innate system taking that long, it kicks in faster, and your adaptive immunity is almost immediate so that your body is better able to respond to presenting virus and therefore, you know you will stop the multiplication of this virus in their system.”

Information from Medline Plus describes innate or non-specific immunity as a defence system that protects against antigens, providing the body with a barrier that prevents harmful materials from entering, working as the first line of defence.

On the other hand, adaptive or acquired immunity occurs after exposure to an antigen from a vaccine or pathogen. Adaptive immunity responds when the innate immune response is insufficient to control an infection.

Vaccination triggers the immune response by injecting small doses of antigens such as dead or weakened live viruses. This gives adaptive immunity its memory, which allows the body to react quickly and efficiently to future exposures.

The Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Health has been taking significant steps to protect the population. When vaccines became available, every effort was made and continues to be made to encourage persons to get inoculated against the deadly disease.

Despite procuring a variety of vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), a substantial number of persons are still hesitant to be immunised, increasing their risk of experiencing severe forms of the Coronavirus.

In its pursuit to inform the public and quell concerns surrounding the administration of vaccines, Dr. Anthony, meets daily with DPI, to clarify myths and provide scientifically proven answers to allay fears and increase public awareness.

Minister Anthony is urging citizens to get immunised at any of the 100 vaccination sites across the country.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.