My Envision and Stake on the Supposed 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵 Vaccine by Okpara Chibuzo Solomon
It’s few days away from 2021. So let me give my stake on the world events as I envisage them next year. The centre of this my excerpt lies on COVID-19, and it’s likely implication on health and economy, especially in the Sub-Saharan Africa come 2021.
All things I’m gonna be saying are my personal views. Taking it serious or not serious is purely your own concern.
COVID-19, as we all have witnessed, has done nothing but scattered the whole world. Nobody ever thought that something that emanated from just a small village of Wuhan in far away China can shatter the whole world like this. No thanks to our African politicians that never prepared our economy for doom-days like this. But e don be as e go be shaa.. And thanks to God that we are surviving.
But right now, the major panic of the world, especially our unprepared Africa, seems not to be the crown-like virus itself, but rather on the cure for the virus and the implementation of the cure.
With tens of supposed vaccines for the virus emanating from different biotechnological industries, the safety of the masses are being questioned. Most sub-Saharan Africa dwellers has vowed not to even let anyone bring any vaccine near them, not to even talk of being administered to them. No thanks to various consipary theorems, coupled with high level of illiteracy in this geographical region.
And here is the engine room of my this my excerpt. As a certified Medical Biochemist, I will try my best to sound both Scientific and Logical in analysing the likely implications of taking or not taking the supposed covid-19 vaccine come next year.
First and foremost, the best proven way to tackle a virus is by developing a vaccine for it. Disease like poliomyelitis is a things of the past today, thanks to vaccine. Imagine given birth to a child and the child becomes crippled due to polio virus.. You know it’s gonna be a burden for you and the child forever.
So with that, the need for a vaccine for such a virus as covid-19 can never be over emphasized. Of course we have been taking vaccines since the time we can’t even remember. So what’s then the widespread panic against the supposed covid vaccine all about??… The answer is SAFETY.
Typical vaccines are prepared with live Attenuated strains of the viruses they are meant to tackle.. In a nutshell.. A typical vaccine for, let’s say COVID-19, may contain attenuated strains of COVID-19 virus.
Some other versions of vaccines may contain mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acids), which contains the genetic information similar to the virus they intend to oppose. This is the case of the COVID-19 vaccine that has been reported to have been developed by Pfizer company. I heard it was actually championed by a Nigerian Medical doctor. Much thanks to him.
No matter the type of vaccine or the content of it, one thing is common with them… They provide immunity again the virus they are meant to tackle. They do so by provoking the immune system of the individual to produce antibodies against the targeted virus.
Simply put, vaccines are meant to manipulate your immune system and make them produce antibodies against the targeted virus. This makes them ready to attack the virus, should you eventually come across it.
What does this mean??… It means that typical vaccines actually doesn’t do the work.. It’s your immune system that does the work. The work of the vaccine is to shout “Wolf! Wolf!” Then it will sit back and watch your body gather it’s armies (antibodies) against the wolf (virus).
And because these antibodies were synthesized by your body from copies of the vaccine, which contains attenuated strains of the virus itself or it’s mRNA particles, these antibodies will only target and kill this particular virus from whose particles it was synthezed. This is why vaccines are virus-specific, unlike antibiotics that can be broad spectra (ability to kill many bacteria at a time).
𝗡𝗼𝘄 𝗼𝗻 𝘀𝗮𝗳𝗲𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀
There are many procedures involved in dishing out Drugs and Xenobiotics to the public. You don’t just produce a drug and start administering it to the masses. The safety of the drug must first be ascertained via phases and chains of precautionary measures. With that, the chances of such drug to have adverse effects will be almost zero.
In some cases where the drug still get small wahala, we will then weigh it’s advantages against it’s disadvantages. If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, then the drug might still be accepted. But if the reverse is the case, then na no go area be that.
Of course there is an urgent need for a vaccine against covid-19, and this has been the bedrock of the scepticism against the vaccines being dished out. The chains of clinical trials involved in ascertaining the safety of drugs and vaccines would take a long time, hence most biotechnological industries might want to manoeuvre them. They would want to dish out their products as e dey hot.
So, in a scenario like that, we may be faced with vaccines that provides good results in the present, but may then be harmful to the body in times to come. A typical case study is the drug 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗱𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗱𝗲.
Thalidomide is a sedative drug that was prescribed to many pregnant women in times past to relive pregnancy nausea. But this drug later turned out to be a worldwide tragedy, as it was causing irreversible damage to the fetus of thousands of children whose mothers took the drug.
It caused partial or total absence of arms and limbs in children, a sickness known as Phocomelia or Amelia. Just use your Google Search engine.
So what does that mean??… Even with the clinical trials and the precautionary measures employed in drug development, some drugs still went ahead to cause catastrophes and damage to the human race. And this alone logically proves those who are afraid of taking the covid-19 vaccine right.
But as a Medical Biochemist, I believe in vaccines… Yes, the advantages of vaccines are far better than the disadvantages, that’s if there’s even disadvantages seff.
An effective vaccine will lead to the total eradication of the targeted virus. You won’t just be free from the virus for the mean time. You may be free from the virus for life. Isn’t that better than taking drugs every now and then for a particular pathogen?? Prevention, we all know, is still better than cure.
That means with some vaccines, you will just have to ‘treat’ yourself for the sickness once. You wouldn’t need to be spending your money on treating that particular sickness, even for your lifetime. But don’t forget, I said SOME vaccines.
But don’t forget, whether you take a vaccine or not should be a matter of your choice. And which ever of the above choices you make, you are Right.
I was arguing with someone the other day on twitter. The guy said that The UK and The US will soon start to prevent all those countries that refuse to take the vaccine from entering their countries. And then I asked him… “Why would you take a vaccine and then prevent people who didn’t take the vaccine from coming close to you?? It either means that your vaccine is ineffective, or that you don’t trust it.
As funny as that my reply to the guy may sound, that’s still the truth. A vaccine shouldn’t be shoved down on people’s throat. Whether they choose to take it or not should be their choice. I don’t know of any existing laws for taking vaccines, but I believe the most logical thing to do is not to force vaccines on people, but to educate them on the need for them to take the vaccine.
Having talked much about covid-19 vaccine, I would now talk about the economic implications of taking or not taking the vaccine on Africa. I’m using Africa as a case studies because that’s where I live and that’s where the world giants are much interested in, when it comes to economic and public health issues. No doubt, Africa provides a huge market for the tech and biotech giants of the world. We have always been their Lab rats. That’s the ugly truth.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗰 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗱-𝟭𝟵 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗺𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗯𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗹 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗻𝘁.
First, It will trigger a chain of reactions and counter-reactions from the big world powers. Like I said, Africa is a very big market for the tech and biotech giants of the world. So if Africans decides not to take the vaccine, a huge part of the market will be lost, and that will amount to billion dollar loses for the giants.
And what will that mean??… The big players in the world economic affairs will have to look for ways to force the vaccine on us. They might do this by placing various economic and travelling sanctions on Africans. They might even come up with theories that Africans have developed a strain of the virus which is resistant to their vaccine. By so doing, they will effect the travelling sanctions and that alone will cripple our already epileptic economy.
Also, without taking the vaccines, our evil leaders will keep milking our resources dry in the name of fighting the disease. But if the vaccine is taken and the virus is cured, then the business of looting in the name of fighting the virus will be over.
A state in Nigeria claims they spend average of 500 thousand Naira on each covid-19 patient everyday. For the more serious and critical cases, they claim they spend average of One million Naira daily on each patient. What a lucrative business for them!.
So a total cure for the virus, which can only be ensured by a vaccine, would mean no business for these looters. Of course they will still find other ways to loot, but at least, not with the virus anymore. So the looting and the widespread panic about the virus will stop.
𝗦𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝗴𝘂𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲’𝘀 𝗻𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗱-𝟭𝟵 𝗶𝗻 𝗡𝗶𝗴𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗮 𝗼𝗿 𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗼 𝘄𝗲 𝗱𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲.
Anyway, such argument may sound logical. After all if truly there is covid-19 in Nigeria, people should have been dropping dead on the streets by now as was witnessed in other countries of the world that was hit by the virus.
But then, no matter how reasonable the doubts might be, the safest thing to do is to first believe that the virus is here with us. With such mental acceptance, you will now try your best to stay safe, and also be prepared for the worst. This of course will keep you on the safer side.
𝗦𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝘆 𝗮𝗹𝘀𝗼 𝗮𝗿𝗴𝘂𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝘀𝗸 𝘄𝗵𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗛.𝗜.𝗩 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀, 𝘆𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗶𝗴 𝗯𝗶𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗰𝗵 𝗴𝗶𝗮𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮 𝗰𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗱-𝟭𝟵 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲??
The answer is simple and logical. A disease like H.I.V can be avoided with ease, as its blood-related, unlike a disease like covid that can be gotten by mere physical contact and fluid droplets. In fact, physical barriers like condoms can prevent the spread of H.I.V. But for you to stay safe from covid, you may have to stay far from people or even stay indoors, which is a very tasking job. Hence there is this urgency for a covid vaccine more than that of H.I.V.
And for that of cancer, there may not have been any vaccine against it probably due to the fact that there’s no specific causative agent for it. Many things can cause cancer. These includes viruses, radiation, drugs, chemicals, just so many of them. So a vaccine for such sickness as cancer with many causative agents may be a difficult one to develop. But it can still be developed anyway, it’s just a matter of more time and more studies.
And lastly, back to my points on the advantages of a vaccine for such sickness as covid-19, with the vaccine effectively administered, people will start moving around freely again without having any virus to be afraid of. I know here in Nigeria, the virus seff no dey panic us. Maybe we are Herd immuned to it. I don’t know shaa… But then, in other countries, it’s a serious case. And Nigeria and Africa depends on these countries for economic survival. So a total lock down in countries like china, US, UK, and India will mean harm to us here in Nigeria.
I was personally affected by this. For almost 5 months, I didn’t have goods to sell. Cos my goods come for China, India and Indonesia. So the lock down in these countries affected my finance. So for those that are asking me for money, I’m sorry, I no get for now, cos my work was down for some months due to covid. Same with many company workers here in Nigeria.
So with this few points of mine, I just want to let you know that the covid vaccine may have come to stay, so we better prepare our minds for it. If you think it’s not safe for you, then develop your own. And if you refuse to take it, then wait for the economic implications.
But for me shaa, I may not take it. I will just drink agbo and the virus go dey run far away from me… Lol.
Thank you for reading.
𝗠𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗕𝗶𝗼𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗺𝗶𝘀𝘁 || 𝗠𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗦𝗮𝗹𝗲𝘀 𝗦𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁 || 𝗕𝗶𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗵𝗲𝗺𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘆 𝗧𝘂𝘁𝗼𝗿 || 𝗔𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗿.