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COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs

General frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine:

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19

There are several vaccines being developed. Currently more than 50 COVID-19 vaccine candidates in trials. In Seychelles, the vaccination campaign has started with the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine.

How do vaccines work?

Vaccines save millions of lives each year. Vaccines work by training and preparing the body’s natural defences — the immune system— to recognise and fight off the viruses and bacteria they target. If the body is exposed to those disease-causing germs later, the body is immediately ready to destroy them, preventing illness.

When will the COVID-19 vaccine be ready for distribution in Seychelles?

Seychelles initiated its COVID-19 vaccination campaign with the China manufactured vaccine, Sinopharm on Sunday 10th January 2021. Healthcare workers, executive leaders and workers in essential services were the first groups to receive the vaccine. Vaccination is ongoing continue with workers in essential services and later be rolled out for other groups in the population.

The campaign is being conducted on appointment basis. The vaccination teams liaise with representatives from organisations and workplaces to assign appointments. Vaccination for the public will roll out once all the priority groups are covered.

How safe are the COVID-19 vaccines?

The COVID-19 vaccines approved for distribution in Seychelles have been reviewed by the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) under strict guidelines. These are:

1. Available transparent safety, quality and efficacy data peered reviewed for Clinical trials Phase I, II and III
2. Manufacturer’s Product Fact Sheet for Professionals (product information for storage, distribution and instruction for use)
3. Product Fact sheet for Recipients and Carers

What should I remember when coming to the vaccination centre?

Bring your NIN/ID card or Passport.

If you need assistance with mobility or reading/writing ask someone to accompany you

Remember to bring any medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications and show them to the vaccination team prior to taking the vaccine

What should I do during vaccination?

– Wear your face-mask properly at all times and follow hygiene precautions.

– Read this information leaflet well and ask any queries or concerns prior to signing the consent form and taking the vaccine.

– Follow instructions given by the staff.

Should I continue to practice the public health measures after I am vaccinated?

The COVID-19 vaccine is one more layer of protection against infection from the virus. You should continue to practice the public health measures to keep other protected against the virus.

What happens after vaccination?

– You will be asked to wait at the vaccination centre for 30 mins for observation after taking your dose of the vaccine. This is to observe for any immediate side effects or allergies – report if you are feeling unwell to the overseeing health officer.

– Once home, no special precautions need to be taken. Any serious side-effects you notice must be reported to your local clinic.

– You can resume work immediately

– You must continue to take all public health precautions even after taking the vaccine as there is not enough research to ascertain whether vaccines prevent you from carrying the virus after exposure

– It takes at least 2 weeks after the second dose before the full protection from the vaccine is achieved.

My partner is an essential worker; can we take our vaccination together?

If your partner received notification to take the vaccine and you did not, do not go to the vaccination centres. This measure is in place to avoid large crowds at the stations.

If I suffer adverse reactions to a brand of vaccine with my first dose, is it safe to take another type for my second dose?

Do not take the vaccine if you have any allergic reactions to the first dose or if you suffer severe allergic reactions to something. Talk to a doctor, who is present at the station.

Will we be obliged to take the vaccine?

There are currently no laws obliging vaccinations. However, it is in the best interest of everyone to ensure that the health of the people is safeguarded by good practices and implementation of safe measures such as vaccination against any disease.

My workplace deals with people of all ages, but we have not been contacted, can we make a special request?

The vaccination coordination team has a draft list of organisations who will receive the vaccines. All the workplaces on the list is to be covered in the campaign. Allow the team to contact you and schedule your appointment.

How long am I expected to be at the vaccination centre?

There are different steps in the COVID-19 vaccination process, from screening prior to taking the vaccine and observation after taking. Please allow at least 45 minutes for the process not including the queue, which all depends on the current situation of that particular day you are presenting ta the station.

Which mechanism is there to report to if I am concern about certain side effects that may be vaccine?

Should you feel you are experiencing side effects from the vaccine, you should report to your local health facility and notify them of the date you took your vaccination.

How will a person with disability who resides in own home be assisted in getting the vaccine?

Once the campaign is rolled out to the general public the vaccination team leading the campaign will communicate logistics for special cases.

What should do if I have already taken the vaccine but notice that I am getting the symptoms of COVID-19?

It is important to note that COBID-19 like symptoms are not side effects of the vaccine. Please report to a fever station of you are experiencing such symptoms even after taking the vaccine.

Can we trust vaccines developed so quickly?

All vaccines approved have to complete and pass all phases of trials. Despite the vaccines developed in such short time, same technologies used for previous vaccines have been used to achieve success with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Does the vaccine offer life-long efficacy immune response?

Science works are still underway to determine whether booster doses of the vaccine is required and unclear therefore if it offers life-long efficacy.

Frequently asked questions about the Sinopharm Verocell COVID-19 vaccine:

What is the SinoPharm COVID-19 Vaccine?

It is a type of inactivated vaccine administered to protect individuals against infection from the COVID-19 virus. It is given as a two-dose regimen, 2 to 4 weeks apart, through injections.

Who can take the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine?

Adults aged 18 to 60 years, including individuals with chronic illnesses that are well controlled.

Who cannot take the vaccine?

– Children or young people under the age of 18 years.

– Women who are presently pregnant or breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy within the next 6 weeks.

– Anyone with allergies to the COVID-19 vaccine or other vaccines in the past. Anyone who gets an allergy from the first dose should not take it again.

– Anyone with a history of serious allergy (anaphylaxis) requiring emergency care.

– People with conditions that suppress the immune system (e.g. HIV-AIDS, on steroid medications, or receiving Chemotherapy).

– People with uncontrolled Epilepsy or other neurologic conditions.

– People with uncontrolled chronic conditions (e.g. uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension, uncontrolled heart failure, late-stage kidney disease, uncontrolled asthma).

Can people who have COVID-19 disease now or have had it before take the vaccine?

– People diagnosed with symptomatic infection with COVID-19 should not take the vaccine and wait for after recovery.

– People who have been diagnosed, isolated, and treated for COVID-19 can take the vaccine two weeks after being declared recovered.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

Common side effects are: Pain, redness, swelling, itching and/or hardening of injection site. Transient fever, fatigue, headaches, and/or diarrhea.

Other side effects include: Skin rash at injection site; Nausea and vomiting; itching at non-injection sites; muscle pain, joint pain, drowsiness or dizzine

What should I remember when coming to the vaccination centre?

Bring your NIN/ID card or Passport.

If you need assistance with mobility or reading/writing ask someone to accompany you

Remember to bring any medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications and show them to the vaccination team prior to taking the vaccine

Should I continue to practice the public health measures after I am vaccinated?

The COVID-19 vaccine is one more layer of protection against infection from the virus. You should continue to practice the public health measures to keep other protected against the virus.

Can I take my vaccine if I am having flu-like symptoms but tested negative for COVID-19?

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 do not take the vaccine. Wait until your symptoms pass and you feel better to take the vaccine.

Is a pregnancy test on offer to women, prior to taking the vaccine?

Pregnancy tests are not on offer, women are to perform the test before coming to the station. Alternatively, you can wait until your next period to take the vaccine.

What are the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccine?

Seychelles currently have three (3) vaccines on the vaccination campaign. They are the Sinopharm, Moderna and The Oxford University – AstraZeneca.

• The Sinopharm vaccines contains inactivated COVID-19 virus to trigger an immune response
• The Moderna vaccine contains messenger RNA with instructions for human cells to make proteins that mimic part of the coronavirus, to trigger an immune response
• The AstraZeneca contains genetically modified virus, which triggers the human cells to produce the SARS-CoV-2 protein, which is the immune’s system main target in coronaviruses.

Frequently asked questions about the Astra Zeneca COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccine:

What is the difference between COVISHIELD and other vaccines?

Like any other vaccine, COVISHIELD works in the way that it trains your immune system to develop defence against COVID-19 without falling sick or affected severely.

Why can 60-year-olds and above take this vaccine?

Based on trials done by the manufacturer of COVISHIELD, it is deemed safe to administer to administer to people above this age.

Will I fall ill with COVID-19 after I take COVISHEILD?

Vaccines work in such a way that if you encounter an infection your body fights the infection without you falling severely ill.

Will my second dose be COVISHIELD?

It is recommended that your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine is the same as your first dose. If you did not receive COVISHIELD vaccine for your first dose, you will not recevie this vaccine for your second dose.

How will my appointment work to ensure I do get the same vaccine dose?

Vaccination centres are administering a single type of vaccine at a type. When it is time to receive your second dose, you are required to go back to the centre where you received the first dose of the vaccine.

Does COVISHIELD contain the COVID-19 virus?

COVISHIELD contains genetically modified virus and not the SARS-CoV2 which causes COVID-19.

If I missed my appointment how long after receiving the my 1st dose, can I take the second one?

If for any reason you missed your 2nd dose appointment, you have up to 12 weeks after taking your 1st dose to take the 2nd dose.

Can I take antibiotics after taking the vaccine?

Should you develop any illness after taking the vaccine, please advise your treating doctor that your recently took the vaccine, so the Medical Officer can plan your treatment before prescribing.

Can I take this vaccine if I have taken any other vaccines recently?

It is recommended to have a period of 4 weeks between the uptake of any vaccines.

PRESS RELEASE

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NOTICE

All persons placed under home quarantine who develop symptoms are advised to visit the special stations at Glacis Health Centre, Baie Lazare Health Centre and Mont Fleuri Health Centre. The home quarantine period should be completed for 14 days, from arrival in Seychelles or last contact with a positive case of COVID-19. A certificate of quarantine will be presented at the end of the quarantine period.

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Anyone with symptoms related to COVID-19 are asked to report to special stations at Glacis Health Centre, Baie Lazare Health Centre and Mont Fleuri Health Centre between 8am-12pm and 1pm-2pm. People who use these health centres for regular consultations, should go to their regional centres.

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