Efficacy by means of antigens

The Covid-19 vaccines that are currently in use, function by means of so-called antigens. These are molecules or molecular structures that are also present in the coronavirus. When we get the vaccine, these tiny structures enter our body and our immune system reacts. Our body remembers this protective reaction. Should the "real" coronavirus get into our body, then the protective action is once again triggered. We call this an immune response.

With the BioNtech/Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines, you will need a second dose of the vaccination to be fully protected. Johnson & Johnson is the only vaccine where you will require only a single dose. It is not yet known whether we will need a booster vaccination or whether we will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 every year. This is something that is still being researched. 

Monitoring and observation of the efficacy of vaccines

The new corona vaccines were developed and approved quickly. Nevertheless, they had to go through the same controls as any other vaccine. Even after the vaccine is injected, monitoring continues.

This is because some people fear long-term consequences that have not yet been discovered. However, experts agree that this concern is completely unsubstantiated. The real problem with mRNA vaccines is that the body breaks them down too quickly and therefore people will eventually need a third vaccination as a booster. The possibility of long-term consequences has therefore been ruled out.

Furthermore, we have to remember that mRNA vaccines have been used to vaccinate people millions of times all over the world for almost a year now. Long-term side effects have not been recorded in all this time. Nevertheless, those responsible continue to monitor vaccination reactions and side effects.

Analysis by independent experts

Independent experts in many countries are collecting the results of these observations. In Germany, experts are engaged in these activities at the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI). The PEI also collects reports of side effects. They do this via their website or via the app SaveVac.

Vaccine breakthroughs are currently causing a stir. But keep in mind that vaccination is very likely to prevent more serious illness. The majority of vaccinated people will experience a cold or fever. On the other hand, patients with severe or fatal cases are almost always unvaccinated, says Gernot Marx, president of the intensive care association DIVI.

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