THE supply of the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech for the first phase is expected to reach Malaysia on Feb 26. Below are the frequently asked questions on the Comirnaty vaccine produced by Pfizer answered by the Institute for Medical Research:
Q: How does the Comirnaty vaccine react in the body?
A: The Comirnaty vaccine uses the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine technology. The mRNA vaccine consists of genetic sequence that can protect the mRNA from enzyme reactions in the body and can ensure the mRNA can enter certain immune cells such as the dendritic cells and macrophages in the lymph nodes near the injection area. The mRNA vaccine will produce a unique protein called spike protein, which can stimulate the body’s immunity without causing any illness. The mRNA vaccine will be destroyed by the enzyme after the spike protein is produced. The mRNA sequence does not enter the nucleus and does not involve any genetic DNA materials in the cell. The spike protein produced by the mRNA vaccine will encourage the formation of specific antibodies against Covid-19 and can react if there is a Covid-19 infection in the future.
Q: Can the Comirnaty vaccine alter a person’s DNA or genetics?
A: No. The Comirnaty vaccine cannot alter a person’s DNA or genetics because the mRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cells and there will not be any reaction with the DNA.
Q: Can the Comirnaty vaccine cause Covid-19?
A: No. The Comirnaty vaccine does not use the SARS-CoV-2 live virus. Therefore, it cannot cause Covid-19.
Q: Who can get the Comirnaty vaccine?
A: Any individuals aged 18 and above can take the vaccine.
Q: How many doses of Comirnaty vaccine is needed?
A: Every individual needs to receive two doses of the vaccine with an interval period of 21 days between the first and second dose.
Q: Who is not suitable to receive the Comirnaty vaccine?
A: The vaccine is not suitable to be administered to:
> Individuals who have a history of serious allergies to certain food, medication or environment that requires hospital treatment.
> Individuals who experience serious allergy after receiving the first dose of the vaccine.
> Individuals who have undergone organ transplants such as kidney transplant or blood cell stems three months prior to vaccination.
> Individuals who are undergoing cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy.
> Individuals with HIV whose white blood cell count CD4 is less than 200 cells/mL.
> Pregnant women or those who plan to get pregnant.
> Those who have a fever due to virus or bacterial infections.
> Those who have received monoclonal antibodies or blood plasma as treatment for Covid-19 three months prior to vaccination.
> Those with low blood platelets level.