Top 3 Questions About Covid Vaccines – Covid Antigen, Medication and Vaccine Rapid Test, and Did the Vaccine Work


Hello. My name is Doctor Lucas De Toca and today we are going to answer your questions via our social networks. As usual, I am accompanied by Linda, thank you, who will interpret Auslan. We are in the land of the Ngunnawal people, so Dhawra nhuna, dhawra Ngunawal. Yanggu gulanyin ngalawiri, dhunayi, Ngunawal dhawra. Wanggarralijinyin mariny balan bugarabang. I also recognize the traditional owners of the land from where you can look. Today we are going to talk about rapid antigen tests and when they are used we are going to talk about vaccines and other drugs, and we are going to talk about the side effects of vaccines and how to tell if the vaccine has worked or not. Hope you find this segment interesting. But before I begin, I want to thank the school teachers and parents across the east coast who will see their children go back to school in the different years. Blockages are incredibly difficult for everyone, but especially for families with young children who have to deal with all the different elements and work from home, while supporting home schooling, and for the children themselves. , sure. Congratulations to all these families whose children will now gradually resume face-to-face education.

The first question today therefore concerns rapid antigenic tests. What is it and how accurate is it?

A rapid antigen test is a test that can give results to find out if someone has the presence of the virus that causes COVID within a short period of time, as the name suggests. It’s a test that works and is primarily useful for people who don’t have symptoms and the basics of how it works aren’t that different from the swab you get for a PCR, or the standard lab test you get. get for COVID. So this is a nasal swab with a cotton swab, as with other tests, and then inserted into a chemical solution which is then placed in the device which performs the rapid test. antigen, and you can get a result in 15-20 minutes, which is really convenient. Unlike the standard lab test, PCR, or polymerase chain reaction test, it does not look for the genetic material of the virus, but it does look for a number of key components of the virus. Therefore, it is less sensitive than the standard test. There is a higher chance of missing an infection than the standard PCR test. This is why rapid antigenic tests are not used as a gold standard test to determine whether or not a person with symptoms has COVID, and they are preferably used for larger screening programs in asymptomatic people, people without symptoms. It has been used quite widely internationally, there are many types of rapid antigenic tests, and in Australia some industries have used it for frequent professional testing, hence people who in the course of their work need to be tested very frequently, daily or every other day, many industries have adopted rapid antigenic testing, and the laboratory or on-site PCR test remains the gold standard for people with symptoms and for confirming the results of the rapid antigen test. The Therapeutic Goods Administration, or TGA, is studying new regulations for the use of rapid antigen testing in Australia, and it is likely that as we emerge from lockdowns and integrate our highly vaccinated population, rapid antigen testing will play a role. a bigger role in the future in the toolkit we have for managing COVID in the community.

The second question for today is, am I taking medication, can I get the COVID-19 vaccine, or should I be concerned about the interaction between the medication and the vaccine?

The key message here is that COVID-19 vaccines generally do not interfere with medication, and there are no known interactions with COVID-19 vaccines and any prescription or over-the-counter medication. However, despite this, as always, it is very important that you talk to your healthcare professional, your regular doctor and your vaccinator, the clinician who gives you the vaccine, and disclose any medicines you are taking, including any medicines. over-the-counter or vitamin supplements, things that you take out of habit, so they can consider this as part of your vaccination. It is important that you discuss with your doctor whether you are taking any medication on a regular basis so that he can tell you if there is anything to think about. And there may be some things, like people who are taking blood thinners, it is important that they let their vaccinator know so they know they need to apply more pressure after the injection, as your tendency to bleed may. be accentuated by your anticoagulant. medications. People who take drugs that weaken the immune system, such as chemotherapy, should discuss this with their doctor or attending clinician, they will be able to advise on when to get the vaccine depending on the timing and timing of treatment. Again, you can get the vaccine, but it’s more about how you time it to maximize the effect of the vaccine. The general rule, as always, is to speak to your treating clinician to discuss these concerns and to ensure that your personal circumstances are taken into account, and to disclose any medication you are taking to the vaccinator who is actually giving you the medication. vaccine. Finally, the Australian Immunization Technical Advisory Group, ATAGI, recommends keeping seven days between the COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccine. It also helps us understand whether the side effects are related to one vaccine or another. So as a general rule, but if you are concerned, talk to your health care provider, you have to wait seven days between your flu shot and your COVID-19 shot, or other vaccinations.

The last question for today is: how do I actually know the vaccine worked on me?

The general answer is that we don’t have an immediate way to tell at an individual level whether the vaccine worked or not, but the vaccines are incredibly effective, they work massively and have a significant impact, a reduction of almost 10 times. lucky you will contract serious illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19. Many people, and this is very common, have mild or moderate side effects from vaccines. A little tiredness, pain at the injection site, a short-term fever or a little high temperature are the kind of side effects that some people often have with the flu shot or other vaccines, and they seem to be common. with COVID-19 vaccines. It’s just a marker that your immune system reacts to the components of the vaccine and learns to fight off the virus, creating a response that will then allow your immune system to fight off the virus if you come in contact with it. This is how vaccines work. However, while these side effects are not of concern and just show you that your immune system is responding, it doesn’t mean that if you don’t have these side effects the vaccine won’t work. We really don’t yet know why some people experience side effects and others don’t. People tend to have more side effects with the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, and with the first dose of AstraZeneca. But it varies, and some people have side effects with both, others don’t with either. I had quite a bit of pain in my shoulder with my second vaccine, but I had no systemic side effects. I didn’t have any fatigue or fever or anything. While some people I know felt pretty bad for maybe the next day. Whether you have side effects or not, you can rest assured that the vaccine in the vast majority of cases works and works very well. We know that people with weakened immune systems who are immunocompromised, whether it’s because they have an antibody deficiency or a disease that means their immune system is somewhat weakened, or more often because they take drugs that weaken the immune system, organ transplant recipients, people on chemotherapy or radiation therapy, people on immunosuppressants such as high levels of anti-arthritis drugs, may need more than two doses, a third dose, to increase the same level of immune response that a non-immunocompromised person achieves with two dosing. In these cases, and we are talking about a very small part of the population, probably around half a million of the 21 million people eligible for the vaccine in Australia, ATAGI, the Immunization Technical Advisory Group, recommends that they get the third dose of a COVID vaccine between two and six months after receiving their second dose. This isn’t necessarily a booster as part of the overall booster approach that medical experts always envision, it’s just about trying to get as much protection with three doses as someone not. immunocompromised gets two. So if you are on active chemotherapy, radiotherapy, are worried about your immune system and know that you have a weakened immune system, or that you are on immunosuppressive treatment, talk to your doctor, they can help you. advise if a third dose is right for you. But remember that we are talking about severely immunocompromised people, a very small proportion of the population. Anyone who takes medications like anti-arthritis medications, or anyone who may have had cancer in the past would not be in this group, so just talk to your doctor or health care professional, and they know your background and give you advice that is right for you.

That’s all we have for today. Hope this has been helpful. Please continue to send your questions and comments. Thank you for continuing to practice COVIDSafe behaviors and for listening. See you next time.

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