The benefits of over-the-counter vaccines

By Hamad Al-Marzouq and Ahmad Al-Omar

Ever since the case of severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus – 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was diagnosed in Wuhan, China circa December 2019, the amount of deaths has been increasing exponentially worldwide. As of February 14, 2021, the number of patients globally has risen to 109 million, with over 2.4 million deaths. We have been fighting the virus for more than a year now, and it is blatantly evident that there is widespread distrust with vaccines and monopolies of global pharmaceuticals. The healthcare system has shown its flaws.

The vaccine against COVID-19 has been approved for emergency and general use in a few countries like; United Kingdom, United States of America, Russia, and China. Over one hundred million doses have been administered to people worldwide as of February 2021. However, most countries have not yet started the vaccination process as their citizens are reluctant to get vaccinated. These countries’ governments are putting considerable efforts into educating their citizens on the benefits of getting vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus.

The greatest challenge facing the acceptability of this vaccine is the mode of administration. Currently, the Coronavirus vaccines are being administered through injection hence causing a lot of anxiety among people. Therefore, this is because of the side effects that have been presented by getting the vaccine injection. Some of these side effects include pain and swelling at the injection area, headaches, fever, chill, and tiredness throughout the body. The COVID-19 vaccine requires that two shots are given to enhance maximum protection against the coronavirus disease. This has also contributed to the rejection of the vaccine among many people.

The second shot is given within three to four weeks after receiving the first one. Concerns have been raised on the safety of the second shot of the Coronavirus vaccine. It has been shown to exhibit worse side effects. Therefore, people are worried about the consequences the second shot is likely to bring.

The distrust and worry are higher in people with a compromised immune system, especially those with chronic diseases. They are worried if their body will be able to handle the worse side effects resulting from the second shot of the vaccine. Production of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a tablet form will make people more receptive to taking the vaccine.

In conclusion, producing a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a tablet form will ease many of the problems we face administering routine vaccines. It would be easily mass-produced, effortless to administer, and easily transportable. Hence does not include the psychological bias humans have towards tablets, as they are used to administering it themselves.


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