Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sinovac are the Covid 19 vaccines currently available in Malaysia to fight the pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Vaccines are safe and effective tools in preventing the serious complications of COVID-19. We will discuss the types of COVID-19 vaccines in Malaysia, efficacy and side effects of them in this article.
Types of vaccine
A COVID-19 vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent serious illness and complications from COVID-19. Below are the type of vaccines currently available in Malaysia:
- Viral vector vaccine
- This vaccine uses a safe virus to deliver part of the coronavirus to stimulate our immune system.
- Inactivated virus
- Inactivated virus vaccine composed of a weakened or dead version of the virus. They stimulate our immune system without causing the disease itself.
- mRNA vaccine
- A mRNA vaccine delivers genetic material that instructs our body to produce a specific protein similar to the virus.
Pfizer is the vaccine developed in the collaboration of German and American pharmaceutical companies. Pfizer is the first batch of vaccine to arrive in Malaysia, concerning the first phase of National COVID-19 immunisation Programme.
Pfizer is an mRNA vaccine which requires 2 doses in which second dose to be taken 21 days later. Based on the clinical trials, Pfizer is shown to be 95% effective at preventing symptoms from COVID-19.
Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site are commonly reported. One might also experience fever, nausea, headache and muscle ache. After the 2nd dose there are more chances of getting side effects. So, it’s better to follow Covid guidelines for safety purposes.
AstraZeneca is a vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. The previous registration for AstraZeneca opt-in vaccination has received a tremendous response from Malaysian.
AstraZeneca is a viral vector vaccine, requiring two doses to achieve full immunity. Two doses are given in a period of 8 to 12 weeks. Research showed that it has an efficacy of 63.09% in preventing COVID-19 infection.
Common side effects after vaccination with AstraZeneca will be pain at the injection site. One might also experience headache, muscle ache, low energy and fever. Side effects are mild and usually go away after 2 days.
Some rare but serious side effects will be life-threatening allergic reactions, blood clots and reduced blood platelet count.
CoronaVac (commonly known as Sinovac)
CoronaVac or commonly known as Sinovac vaccine, is a vaccine produced by Sinovac Biotech. The vaccine first arrived in Malaysia in May 2021.
Sinovac is an injection of inactivated coronavirus. It involves two doses with an interval of 2-4 weeks between doses. Sinovac has an efficacy of 51% against symptomatic infection of COVID-19. It also reduces the rate of hospitalisation and severe complications of COVID-19.
Common side effects after injection are similar to other vaccinations which are mild and go away in a few days. Rare side effects from Sinovac vaccination are muscle spasm, nose bleed, eye swelling, distension of stomach, constipation, eye redness and hot flashes.
COVID-19 vaccines aim to prepare your immune system for the infection of coronavirus without having to experience illness and complications. Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sinovac are the vaccines currently available in the National Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Immunisation Programme in Malaysia to fight the pandemic. They are safe and effective to protect us from the serious complications of COVID-19.