Life as we knew it came to a screeching halt when a novel coronavirus called severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 was first identified amid an outbreak in Wuhan city, Hubei Province, China. It was reported to WHO (World Health Organization) on 31st December 2019 as an outbreak, but later on, on 20th January the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a global health emergency. On March 11th,2020 the WHO declared COVID-19 a global health pandemic, its first such decision was made since declaring influenza pandemic in 2009. Illness caused by SARS-Cov-2 was termed COVID-19 by the WHO to abbreviate “coronavirus disease 2019” The name was chosen to avoid stigmatizing the virus’s origins in terms of population, geography, or animal associations.
In Kenya, the first case was reported on 12th March 2020 in Nairobi, and contact tracing was done to track down all the contacts of this patient since her arrival. The Kenya government gave precautions to try and contain the spread of the disease. Currently, the Ministry of Health has done cumulative testing of 2 million people, total confirmed cases are 254,728, and cumulative fatalities of 5,328.
The disease spreads from person to person through infected air droplets that are projected during sneezing or coughing. It can also be transmitted when humans have contact with hands or surfaces that contain the virus and touch their eyes, nose, or mouth with the contaminated hands. WHO gave guidelines on how to manage COVID-19 during the first break of this disease to help reduce the spread:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Wear a face mask correctly, in addition to good hygiene practice and physical distancing can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others.
- Cover your cough or sneeze in your inner flexed arm or on a tissue paper
- Stay at home, if you don’t have something that is forcing you to leave the house just stay indoors.
- If you have more severe symptoms go to a medical facility and immediately notify the first person you encounter that you are worried that you have a respiratory infection.
- To protect yourself and others, take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to you.
The virus has made wearing a mask, keeping social distance, and washing hands all the time normal. It also spurred global cooperation for vaccine research and distribution. However, the effectiveness of this vaccine is when people are willing to get the jab and not only one jab but the full dose. After thorough research, the WHO confirmed the administration of a few vaccines; Pfizer vaccine, Johnson and Johnson vaccine, Moderna vaccine, and AstraZeneca vaccine. Millions of people all over the world have embraced the vaccine and in Kenya, more than six million people have been vaccinated. WHO recommends that children below the age of five years should not be vaccinated, but above five years are good for Pfizer vaccination.
|Age recommended 5+ years old||Age Recommended 18+years old||Age Recommended 18+ years old|
|Primary Series 2 doses Given 3 weeks (21 days) apart||Primary Series 2 doses Given 4 weeks (28 days) apart||Primary Series 1 dose|
|When Fully vaccinated 2 weeks after 2nd dose||When Fully vaccinated 2 weeks after 2nd dose||When Fully vaccinated 2 weeks after 1st dose|
Vaccines are effective and can reduce the risk of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID- 19. While it tends to be mild in children it can make children be very sick and can even lead to death, children with underlying conditions are more at risk than those without any medical condition. People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system may not be fully protected even If they are fully vaccinated, they should continue to take all the precautions recommended for unvaccinated people.
Benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccination:
The vaccine protects against severe illness.
Studies have shown that vaccines are effective and prevent severe illness from COVID-19. So if you are vaccinated and become infected, you are very unlikely to have severe effects. Vaccines are also effective against variants once you are fully vaccinated.
The vaccines will reduce your risk of infection
Once you get your first jab your body produces antibodies to the coronavirus, which act as a shield to help your immune system fight the virus if you happen to be exposed, and by so it reduces your risk of getting the disease.
The vaccine can help protect your unborn baby.
Researchers in the CDC have found that expectant mothers who receive the vaccine create antibodies to the virus and pass it to their unborn baby through the placenta. Mothers were also shown to pass the antibodies to their newborns through breastmilk. This suggests that those newborns will have some immunity to the virus, which is very important because children can’t get the vaccine.