Information about the Covid Vaccine

At Manuka Health Centre, we support the covid vaccine and our team is grateful to be offered the vaccine as health workers. We anticipate general population vaccination will begin soon, and we will be keeping our patients upto date via this website and Facebook.

We know our patients will have questions about the vaccine, and here is information from the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) to hopefully answer some of those questions You can visit their website for further information https://covid.immune.org.nz/getting-vaccinated/getting-vaccinated-covid-19. 

Additional detailed information is also available on the Medsafe data sheet-please click on the green button below.

What to expect getting your covid vaccine

Safety information about mRNA vaccines

  • Like all vaccines, mRNA vaccines have been rigorously tested for safety before being authorised for use.

    • mRNA technology has been developed over more than a decade. It has been studied and tested in animals and in humans for use against other viruses many years before it was used for COVID-19.

  • mRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cell.

  • mRNA vaccines:

    • Do not change or interact with the recipient's DNA

    • Do not contain any virus, live or inactivated

    • Cannot give the recipient COVID-19 disease.

    • The vaccine does not contain: adjuvants, animal products, antibiotics, blood products, DNA, egg proteins, fetal material, gluten, live virus, microchips, pork products, preservatives like thimerosal or soy.2

 

How does the Covid Vaccine work?

mRNA vaccines enable body cells to produce a harmless protein unique to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

The mRNA vaccine delivers the instructions for human cells to build the viral antigen, SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The mRNA is temporarily protected from degradation by the lipid nanoparticle that also facilitates fusion with the recipient’s cell membrane.

Once produced by the human cells, the spike protein is recognised by the immune system and a specific immune response is induced. First, the protein is taken up by dendritic cells in the surrounding tissue and is carried to the local lymph node; then it is presented to specialist cells (B cells and T cells) in the lymph node to induce an adaptive immune response. This response includes making specific antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 virus to neutralise the virus and to prevent it from binding to the ACE2 receptor.

The antibodies protect us, so that if we are exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the immune system responds and prevents COVID-19 disease.

Adapted from: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) website2 and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccine Training modules3

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Dr Jane Knight has her second Covid vaccine

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How effective is the vaccine?

The mRNA-CV (Comirnaty, Pfizer/BioNTech) has been investigated in phase 1/2/3 trials around the world including in Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Turkey, South Africa and the United States.

Results published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that 2 doses were safe over a median of 2 months and provided 95% protection against symptomatic COVID-19 in persons 16 years of age or older (95% CI 90.3–97.6).6

Similar vaccine efficacy was observed across subgroups defined by age, sex, race, ethnicity, BMI and the presence of co-existing conditions.

Efficacy remained high when the analysis included those with evidence of prior immunity.

Moderate, early protection against COVID-19 was observed in the phase 3 clinical trial before the second dose. Protection was significantly improved by the second dose.

Some protection is provided from 2 weeks after first dose, but begins to wane by 3 weeks. Maximum effectiveness is not obtained until around a week after dose 2.