Vaccinated Arabs Speak Out

Symptoms from Vaccines Differ from One Person to Another
People queue as they wait their turn to receive a dose of COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at the make-shift vaccination centre at the Kuwait International Fairground in the Mishref suburb south of Kuwait City on March 21, 2021. (Getty)
A man receives a dose of AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine (Covishield) in Dubai on February 8, 2021. (Getty)

The World’s countries are pinning their hopes on vaccines in order to eradicate the coronavirus (Covid-19) that has engulfed the globe claiming the lives of more than 2.7 million people and infecting over 126 million others. Since the various announcements authorizing the use of some vaccines after conducting clinical trials, several countries across the globe have accelerated their steps to obtain sufficient quantities to vaccinate their people so as to return to normal life and resume activities.

Many scientific experiments have proved that most of the vaccines available have a high percentage of efficacy and safety, despite the reluctance of some people and the fears of others.

Reluctance and Concern

“I registered twice to receive the jab, but I didn’t get it. I have concerns about complications from these vaccines. We read about some side-effects related to such jabs. I trust Kuwait’s Ministry of Health but have doubts about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine in general,” Khaled Al-Mohammed, a Kuwaiti national, told Majalla.

“Some of my relatives and friends have similar views on the vaccines. If I have a strong immune system, why should I have a vaccination,” he argued.

The Ministry has previously declared a goal to vaccinate about 65 percent of people by the end of September, but I doubt if this will be possible due to people’s reluctance, he added, also clarifying that he may receive the inoculation as soon as he overcomes his fears.

Light Symptoms

Hani Abdullah, another Kuwaiti national, told Majalla that he received the inoculation and suffered some light symptoms.

“I received the first dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca. Some hours after the injection, I had headache and fatigue but was fine after a short time. On the second day, I barely had any negative signs,” he said, comparing this to his father’s Pfizer vaccination without any side-effects.

Vaccination is Necessary

Mohamed Allam, an Egyptian physician, said he received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and felt some mild symptoms such as pain at the injection site as well as headache.

“I had some minor side effects on the day of the injection. I felt tired and had mild body pain. I took a Panadol and slept,” Allam wrote on his Facebook page.

“By the second day, the symptoms disappeared except for slight pain at the place of injection when touching it. No fever, no pain,” he elaborated.

Allam stressed that the appearance of symptoms differs from one person to another according to th immune system, noting that some people have severe symptoms while others have no symptoms at all.

He urged people to receive the inoculation, indicating that surviving a virus infection doesn’t necessarily provide immunity against reinfection. Vaccination is necessary, he affirmed.

Tiredness and Headache

Hoda El-Sayed told Majalla that she obtained the first shot of AstraZeneca on March 23 and has an appointment to get the second on June 16.

“I registered for the vaccine during the experimental operation of the website launched by the Egyptian Ministry of Health. They sent a message giving me the time and place to receive the jab,” El-Sayed, an Egyptian pharmacist, told Majalla.

“Eight hours after the injection, some mild symptoms appeared. I suffered some tiredness and headache but I took one tablet of Paracetamol and the situation improved. I had no other symptoms,” she noted.

Although the elderly and medical teams are prioritized, the vaccine is available for all and free of charge, she stated, declaring that AstraZeneca is mostly safe and efficacious according to scientific data.

Moderate Side effects

Mahmoud Hendawi, who lives in the UAE, said he was vaccinated with Sinopharm nearly three months ago and had few adverse reactions.

“I had no symptoms on the day of the injection, no fever, no tiredness. But on the second day, I had mild nausea as well as a loss of appetite for a maximum of three hours,” Hendawi told Majalla.

“But the second shot was painful. I suffered moderate pain at the site of the injection. The pain was not severe and did not last long, only for a few hours. On the second day, I had no aches,” he added.

He recommended that people get the vaccination to be protected from the infection. However, he noted that a few people in the UAE still got infected with the coronavirus after they received an inoculation.       

The Arab countries tried to vaccinate their peoples in the short run with the UAE as the leader in terms of numbers of vaccinations given to its people. As it had planned, the UAE administered over seven million doses of vaccine.

Herd Immunity

Scientific studies say that the more people who receive a vaccine, the more persons will be safe and protected. They noted that this will lead to what is called a “herd immunity.”

Doctors and researchers have indicated that vaccination protects most people from the danger of an infection or a coronavirus-related death.  On this basis, governments have increased the number of people immunized against the virus.

According to new clinical trials, AstraZeneca acknowledged that its efficacy is about 76 percent, not 79 percent, in preventing Covid-19.

After a number of EU states, including Italy, Germany, Spain and France, suspended the use of AstraZeneca over reports of blood clots in some people who received it, the European Medicine Agency (EMA) declared that the vaccine is safe and effective.