As Malaysia is still battling the coronavirus, we can rest easy knowing that help is on the way.
However, we still need to wait a little bit before the cavalry finally arrives.
On its way
The first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is on its way to Malaysia, and it will touch down soon.
According to a report by The Star Online
, the country is expected to receive the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on 26 February, Health Director General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham said.
Once the vaccine arrives, Dr Noor Hisham said it will be distributed to Malaysians in stages within a week or two.
The first batch of the vaccine will reportedly go to our medical frontliners, and subsequently followed by the elderly and those who are at high risk.
Previously, it was reported that Malaysia has purchased 12.8 million doses of the vaccine, and we are scheduled to buy 12.2 million doses more.
What you need to know about the vaccine
As some countries around the world have already started rolling out the Pfizer vaccine, there are still some concerns about the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Here are some of the things you need to know about the vaccine:
Who developed the vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccine that we'll be getting in Malaysia in February was designed and developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. Pfizer is an American firm and one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies while BioNTech is a German biotechnology company dedicated to the development and manufacture of active immunotherapies.
How does the vaccine work?
In layman's term, the Pzifer vaccine trains our immune system to fight the coronavirus. It is a new type of vaccine called RNA where it uses a tiny fragment of the virus' genetic code so that our immune system can learn to recognise its traits and begin to attack it. It's literally fighting fire with fire.
How effective is the vaccine?
Pfizer and BioNTech's clinical results have shown that vaccine to be 95 per cent effective. Even in worse case scenarios, it is said to be 90 per cent effective.
How many doses of the vaccine do we actually need?
According to Pzifer, we need two doses of the vaccine for it to be most effective. The dosages are given three weeks apart.
How long does it take for our body to build immunity?
It typically takes a few weeks for our body to build immunity after vaccination. Pfizer warned that it is still possible for an individual to contract COVID-19 before or right after receiving a vaccination as your body did not have enough time to develop immunity.
Is the vaccine safe?
According to the US Food & Drug Administration
, none of the 43,448 participants in the trial recorded any safety concerns or any enhanced disease after receiving the vaccination.
Will there be any side effects?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
, a patient may experience mild side effects such as a sore arm, tiredness, headache and chills. The symptoms, said the CDC, will go away by itself within a few days.