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Perceived Covid19 Vaccine Obstacles

The COVID-19 vaccine campaign is an ongoing global effort to vaccinate many people against the disease to ensure protection from illness, regulate the rate of infection, lessen severe results, and return to everyday life.

The SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) that produced the COVID-19 disease, which has symptoms ranging from pneumonia to multi-organ failure, started a pandemic that still presents a considerable threat to the world.

It has caused economies to collapse and increased deaths and illnesses worldwide. Controlling diseases that can be prevented has been extremely difficult due to vaccine resistance.

Contrary to well-known illnesses like polio, the COVID-19 virus has never been encountered or even seen before. With the COVID-19 vaccination, difficulties were sure to arise.

People may feel they are being utilized as test subjects because it is new. After individuals believe they have completed their vaccinations and antibody tests, more vaccines, including booster doses, are provided due to the emergence of new virus strains.

Below are some obstacles that are affecting the use of the covid-19 vaccine.

The first on the list is vaccine reluctance and safety. Due to safety concerns, the spread of vaccines was halted or delayed in some African nations. Fears of unfavorable side effects recorded in Europe and the United States of America were significant factors in this.

The AstraZeneca vaccine’s suspension among younger persons in Europe has also impacted the vaccine uptake among younger health personnel in some African nations.

There are also concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine’s side effects, including long-term effects, ineffectiveness (due to the discovery of new variants), and vaccine quality controls. The extraordinary speed at which vaccines were developed and distributed is the root of the problem of mistrust in COVID-19 vaccines.

Another barrier is supplying the vaccine worldwide and within a country. Significant global discrepancies in vaccine access, supply chain disruptions, and deliveries already fall short of expectations.

Governments should be ready for the mass production and delivery of the billions of doses needed worldwide when more vaccines are researched and approved for emergency use and can apply creative methods to increase production capacity.

The heavy demand for a COVID-19 vaccine necessitates concurrently scaling manufacturing capacity with efforts to identify new vaccines.

Within, countries may encounter supply obstacles like; providing and transporting vaccines safely and securely, allocating vaccines fairly, promoting vaccination rates, and addressing the moral questions raised by vaccine cards and other vaccine requirements.

Another major obstacle is the lack of education and awareness. It is hard to trust what you do not know or understand. If there is a step-by-step guide to what the vaccine is, what it does, how it works in the body, the side effects, and the potential protection rate, people would feel more comfortable accepting it.

The unavailability of this type of information to a layman poses a significant obstacle. It could lead to other people not getting it. For example, if a community leader in a rural setting takes the vaccine because he understands what it can do for him, there is a high chance the people he oversees will do the same.

Myths and false information about the COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy and safety are quickly gaining traction online. This has increased people’s reluctance to get vaccines.

How to get the vaccine to rural areas also poses an obstacle. Practical obstacles to accessibility include things like scheduling conflicts or high transportation costs. It also includes having physical access to vaccination clinics and antigen test sites, having dosages available (including different vaccine kinds), and being able to understand information.

Sadly, problems like “vaccine nationalism,” or the refusal to share vaccinations across national boundaries, prevent a sufficient quantity of vaccines from being distributed globally.

To reassure the public regarding the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccinations, they should go through rigorous testing and processes before receiving a license. 

Information about these tests should also be transparent and available. Otherwise, factors like the mentioned obstacles with the vaccine may cause doubt and uncertainty.

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Omicron BA.5

Latest symptoms and effects of the new Omicron BA.5

The virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-Cov-2, spread worldwide, causing a global pandemic, as is well-known. This pandemic led to a total lockdown of different countries and affected their economies, as not everyone could go about their businesses. The COVID-19 outbreak has led to the hospitalization of many and the loss of countless lives.

During that period, it was essential to watch for specific symptoms like fever, cough, loss of smell and taste, headache, sore throat, chest pain, etc., as these are the symptoms of COVID-19. It is advised that anyone with these symptoms should get an antigen test to know if they have been infected with the virus or not.

Like every other virus, SARS-Cov-2 changes in form. The virus, popularly known for its frequent and rapid changes, has morphed into several different variants since its discovery. These different variants all have distinguishing characteristics and, in some cases, varying symptoms and effects. There is the Alpha variant, Beta variant, Gamma variant, Delta variant, and lastly, the Omicron variant.

These variants listed above all have their lineages and sub-lineages. The Alpha variant has the B.1.1.7 and Q lineages; Beta has B.1.351 or 501.v2 lineage, Gamma has P.1 lineage, Delta has the AY and B.1.617.2 lineages, while Omicron has B.1.1.529, BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, BA.3, BA.4, BA.5 lineages. 

The Omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa in November 2021. During this same period, people living in England, Nigeria, and the United States were also said to have been infected by the new variant.

The Omicron variant can be contracted and spread easier than the other variants whether you have been vaccinated. Compared to other variants, Omicron causes less severe cases of infection. The variant causes more lenient diseases, even though some cases of death and hospitalization may still occur.

The Omicron BA.5, the newest strain, has been very dominant in the U.S and is said to be spreading rapidly there. BA.5 being the latest of its kind has led to a lot of questions like, “Is it deadlier than the original strain?”, “Does it have different symptoms?”, “Does the COVID-19 vaccine work on it?” and many more. These questions will be covered in this article.

BA.5 is the predominant COVID-19 strain out now. Not only does this new strain spread fast, but it also evades vaccination of previous COVID-19 strains. BA.5 mutation has allowed it to move through immune systems quickly. For example, if you have Beta strain immunity, it would not protect you against the BA.5 strain.

Some symptoms of the BA.5 strain are similar to that of the previous COVID-19 strains. They include sore throat, cough, fever, muscle pain, headache, fatigue, and runny nose. These symptoms last a few weeks, but for people with long symptoms, it lasts up to four weeks or longer. Loss of sense of taste and smell is not a common symptom of the BA.5 strain. 

Although Omicron BA.5 is very infectious and spreads fast, it is not likely to cause severe illnesses compared to the other COVID-19 strains. Regardless, people should take safety precautions to avoid contracting the virus, like getting vaccinated, wearing face masks, proper washing and sanitizing of hands, and, of course, social distancing. Also, people should have home COVID tests (antigen tests) to ensure they are not infected. Although antigen tests are not hundred percent reliable, they are still essential during this period.

If someone contracts the virus more than once, the risk for complications becomes higher, and there would be a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disorders, and other complications. It is highly advised that people take the COVID vaccines to prevent these complications. The vaccines would not prevent you from contracting the Omicron BA.5 variant, but they will protect you from illnesses that you may not be able to manage.

No one knows how many more COVID-19 strains will surface, so staying safe by following COVID-19 protocols and being updated on COVID-19 news is essential.

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antigen test

COVID-19 and Nutrition: How Diet Affects Spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 is currently one of the leading medical challenges worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the world hard, affecting every aspect of daily living. Since the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020, the virus has been known to have several effects on the human body. Even after the pandemic elapsed and governments worldwide lifted their lockdown restrictions, the virus has still left aftereffects in its wake.

One of the ways the virus has been known to affect humankind is through nutrition and dieting in people. This article aims to understand nutritional research as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For about two years, the virus has had significant mortality, morbidity, and financial and social connotations for the world. Despite having all this knowledge, very little is to be known about how the COVID-19 infection affects lives regarding the changes in one’s nutritional behavior. However, nutritional intervention may also affect COVID-19 spread and mortality rate.

Nutrition is a social determinant of health. For healthcare professionals to effectively counsel and advise their clients on nutritional intervention options as part of their treatment, they must be aware of the various factors contributing to diet-related disparities.

It is also essential to be aware of the allergic reactions a patient would have to certain foods and even food sensitivity.

This is where a dietary antigen test comes in.

The P88 dietary antigen test is a single test IgE, IgG, IgG4, and complement (C3d) reactions to 88 of most of the common foods in a diet. It is a highly comprehensive test of immune responses.

This dietary antigen test helps you find and address food allergies and food sensitivities in patients with chronic illnesses (e.g., COVID-19).

Identifying and eliminating food sensitivities can go a long way in a patient’s wellness. It is a test that can lead to a more precise treatment plan and better patient outcomes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, dietary patterns shifted in many individuals and not entirely for the better; this was probably due to altered health behaviors and the mental and physical toll the lockdown had on so many people.

Amidst all this, it is still vital for a patient to have a proper diet with good nutritional value to avoid or withstand infections and diseases like COVID-19.

As stated earlier, nutrient intake and disease occurrence usually influence individuals’ nutritional status.

Inadequate diet and infectious diseases could lead to malnutrition which would only weaken one’s chances of returning to good health. There is currently no proof that any supplement can boost our immune system or prevent viral infections, which is why it is of great importance to have a balanced diet that would keep the body in its most vital state possible. It also ensures a strong immune system that can help withstand any assault from the virus.

To ensure wellness and boost the immune system, here are ten foods that will boost the immune system and leave it in fighting condition.

  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Papaya
  • Citrus fruits
  • Turmeric
  • Shellfish
  • Almonds
  • Red bell peppers

It is worthy of note that these foods will only give your immune system the much-needed boost to fight off any form of disease or infection and thereby keep you from contracting COVID-19. There are still no supplements (save for the vaccine) that can protect one against the COVID-19 virus.

According to researchers, there is no means of virus contraction through food or food packaging. Nevertheless, it is advisable to follow good food practices, some of which are included below: 

  • Store raw and cooked foods separately to stop harmful microbes from spreading into cooked foods.
  • Do not display unwrapped foods at the counter.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before consumption.
  • Use separate utensils for cutting raw and cooked foods.

For ideal health, drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages is essential. Limiting or, better still, avoiding the intake of alcohol is also recommended.

It is essential to have proper nutritional value and a balanced diet in one’s food. It is beneficial to the complete well-being and health of an individual.

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Long COVID effect

Long COVID: What You Need To Know

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 virus, there has been a rapid spread, even after the pandemic period elapsed and countries eased off their lockdowns. Research has shown that people with the virus usually recover after some days or one or two weeks. In more severe cases, recovery can take about six weeks or longer. 

But, in some unusual cases, COVID-19 can cause symptoms that last longer than usual—for weeks or months—after recovery. This case is known as ‘Long COVID.’ It is also referred to as post-acute COVID, long-haul COVID, long-tail COVID, and post-COVID. This article will address symptoms, probable causes, and ways to manage and recover from long COVID. 

Contrary to what most people think, the long COVID effect can happen to anyone recovering from the virus, not depending on the severity of their illness. The same is the case for people without chronic medical conditions. 

Based on data from the United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics, one out of ten people tested for COVID-19 experience symptoms for about 12 weeks or longer, which led to the probability that there may be 5 million long COVID cases—or more— across the world. 

Some studies have found more probable occurrences of long COVID in females, older adults, people who were not vaccinated for COVID-19, and people with a high BMI (body mass index).

Long COVID has its symptoms, most of which linger after recovery from the COVID-19 virus. The most common symptoms include chest pain, joint pain, cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Some people may also experience muscle pain, fluctuating fever, headache, heart palpitations, depression, and memory problems (also known as brain fog). Some other long COVID effects are rare long-term complications. These complications include hair loss, insomnia, lung problems, severe kidney injuries, rashes, mood swings, anxiety, concentration problems, and loss of smell and taste. 

The long COVID effect will not occur the same way. Some patients get less severe symptoms that ease off over time. However, some have long-lasting, severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to disability.

There are uncertainties about what causes long COVID. Still, based on research, some possible causes include reinfection of the COVID-19 virus, post-traumatic stress, a lack of response from the immune system, and deconditioning, among others. 

Long COVID does not have a specific test for diagnosis, and there may be other symptoms that do not stem from long COVID but from other medical conditions. The doctor diagnoses long COVID based on the infected person’s entire medical history and all COVID-19 symptoms, from the time of the infection to the current state. 

Some blood tests may be done to check electrolytes, liver function, kidney function, full blood count, iron levels, heart health, inflammation levels, troponin, muscle damage, and D-dimer- to ensure there are no blood clots. Some other possible tests include an antigen test, a urine test, a chest X-ray, and an electrocardiogram. Sometimes, some of these symptoms are difficult to manage or understand, but there is still ongoing research to understand them fully. 

However, there are ways that long COVID patients can manage the situation. Some of these include home remedies like resting, using over-the-counter pain relievers, healthy dieting, sleeping, no smoking, limiting the intake of caffeine and alcohol, and other general healthcare methods. But, because the long COVID symptoms vary in people, the remedies will be more individualized. Some people will have to take more extreme measures than others, with the direction of a doctor, most importantly.

It is currently unclear how long it takes for a long COVID patient to recover. However, it is necessary to seek medical help once the patient starts to experience any of these symptoms: worsened breathlessness, extreme weakness, chest pain, noticeable changes in speech, sight, or hearing, or a state of confusion. 

Living with long COVID can be difficult, mainly because there is no immediate cure. People living with long COVID need to keep in touch with a doctor for advice. They could also seek support groups because it is much easier to go through medical conditions like this with people in similar situations. 

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health and fitness

GETTING TESTED AND STAYING HEALTHY THROUGH THE PANDEMIC

The covid-19 pandemic sneaked upon us and just like that we are in the third year of the pandemic. Although the effect has been said to have reduced after the vaccination Introduction, it is still very much around, and just as contagious.

Before now, our day was filled with more physical activities like outings, shopping, and random trips. However, since the pandemic, people have withdrawn from public places and mostly at home. We are encouraged to always get tested using the PCR swab test or Antigen test after travel or if exposed to places with high coronavirus risk. Even after vaccination, one can get infected as the jab is to reduce the effect of the virus and not prevent it.

We must keep up with all coronavirus health guidelines and not get too comfortable because of the availability of the vaccine. 

There are booster shots after being administered the second vaccine. While people whose immune system is compromised, have extra shots taken to produce more antibodies to fight the coronavirus.

Although being home and undergoing self-isolation seems like the safest way to prevent getting the virus, it can trigger excessive snacking; eating junk foods and quick recipes can ruin our diet and cause weight gain. For those who are less motivated to work out or do not have any gym equipment or a gym at home, working out has become a challenge.

Staying proactive is vital in maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle even as we socially distance ourselves. Eating healthy and finding easy aerobics to shed excess calories should be infused into our daily routine. Let us talk about some easy ways to stay healthy through the pandemic. Hopefully, you find this helpful and easy to adopt;

CHOOSING HEALTHY FOOD OPTIONS

Choosing healthy food options requires a lot of self-discipline; the courage to resist some cravings. This era is the best time to consume whole foods, vegetables, herbs, foods rich in fibre, and the right amount of minerals. Replace soda and beer with healthy smoothie options as often as possible, and look out for fruits rich in vitamin C.

STAYING FIT AND ACTIVE 

It’s great news that gyms are now open but adhering to covid-19 prevention rules strictly. People have gotten so used to staying away from the gym that returning to that lifestyle has become difficult. Dancing to your favourite playlist nonstop for an hour or taking a brisk walk around your house, as easy and fun as it sounds, is effective in helping you shed some calories. You can also decide to join an online fitness class or check YouTube for a guide. You can do squats and lunges or ride a bicycle just around your house. 

EMBRACE SELF CARE 

Not so many people care for themselves around us. Yes, we tell ourselves that we love ourselves, but our actions depict otherwise. Embracing self-care is being; deliberate about your physical, emotional, financial, and mental well-being. You have to protect your mental space from the terrible news on the internet or social media and the death rates caused by Covid. 

Spend time doing the things you love and reading a book; you might get out of the pandemic more skilled and self-aware.

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE VIRUS

This step is the most vital step to take on this journey to staying healthy through a pandemic. Even after vaccination, always mask up when you need to leave your home, get the PCR test swab if you notice any symptoms or know someone who does and sanitise your hands properly after contact. These guidelines cannot be overemphasised as they are the only guaranteed way of not getting coronavirus. 

Regardless, healthy practices should be a part of our lives, and getting vaccinated is the most important thing to do now.