‘Vaccine’ and ‘vaccine recording’ are topics that are trending these days. Even though vaccines are familiar to everyone, the term is being used more than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world that we live in and has pushed us to find a vaccine or cure. We have received vaccinations throughout our lives, the majority of them as babies and toddlers. As we grew older, we get vaccines so that we can travel. Hopefully we will be able to travel to other countries without the fear of contracting COVID-19 in the near future. In the wake of COVID-19, people are looking to make sure that their vaccine records are up to date. Especially since we will need two doses of the vaccine to be fully vaccinated. It’s become even more important to make sure that we are keeping track of our vaccinations.
Today, technology has made it very easy to keep track of things. You can keep track of pretty much everything; your order from Amazon, your workout, diet, and many other things. It’s possible to access on your phone without any hassle. Keeping a vaccine record of your vaccinations has always been essential. But it has always been something that your doctor has kept track of. We visit our doctor when we want to see if we need a certain vaccine to travel, they provide us with the info. In light of COVID-19 and with the advancement of technology, it’s important to figure out new ways to keep track of our vaccine records. The CareClinic app is a great solution to record your vaccinations in one place that is easily accessible to not only you but also your healthcare professionals and family.
What is a vaccine?
A vaccine is a medium that contains a dead or weakened microorganism. It forces your immune system in recognizing this agent as a threat and to fight against it to destroy it. The goal is to then recognize and destroy any live microorganism of the same strain it may encounter in the future. Since you are vaccinated, you will be protected during infection in future. A vaccine can be administered either by injection or orally.
The name ‘microorganism’ covers both bacteria and viruses. There are various beliefs and perspectives about vaccines. But disease prevention has proven that vaccines are effective. They are of two types of vaccines depending on the status of the microorganisms they contain.
- Live attenuated – these are vaccines with a modified version of the otherwise ‘wild’ microorganisms.
- Inactivated – these are vaccines with a ‘dead’ version of the microorganisms.
These are a few of vaccines that we receive since birth and have been proven to be successful:
- Chickenpox (Varicella)
- Diphtheria, Tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis) (DTaP)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
- Polio (IPV) (between 6 through 18 months)
- Pneumococcal (PCV)
- Hepatitis A (HepA)
- Hepatitis B (HepB)
Are vaccines safe?
Yes. Vaccines go through a stringent series of medical research and testing. The goal of the research is to assess the safety and the ability to generate a protective response to prevent disease. They are safe and side effects are very minor, such as mild fever or pain around the injection site. There is the possibility of serious side effects but the cases are very rare. Most importantly, such adverse effects typically occur shortly after receiving a vaccine, not later. Following the routine vaccination schedule prevents more than fifteen serious diseases with more than 90% efficacy.
Vaccinations for adults and children
Shortly after birth, babies receive vaccines to build their immune system to fight against infections. Each country develops a routine immunization schedule as a guide to have vaccines at a particular age. The healthcare provider who provides the vaccine will update your vaccination record whenever you or your children receive a new vaccine.
Your healthcare provider usually provides vaccines at the following ages:
- 2 & 4 months
- 6 months
- 12 months
- 15 months
- 18 months
- 4-6 years old
- 12 years
- 14-16 years
Children tend to receive vaccine combinations to help provide immunity against multiple diseases. As we get older, adults receive the commonly known ‘flu shot’ – a vaccine against seasonal respiratory infections and a vaccine against tetanus.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
During pregnancy, expectant mothers don’t require any particular vaccines except for the flu shot unless recommended by your healthcare provider. If you receive any other vaccines before knowing that you are pregnant, you do not have to panic. Discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider.
If you receive a vaccine while breastfeeding, it will provide a temporary cover to the baby by passing some of the mother’s immunity through the breastmilk. Since it is temporary and part of the immunity, following the baby’s vaccination schedule is essential for complete protection. Your healthcare provider will provide advice to nursing mothers to refrain from receiving some vaccines.
Vaccinations for travel
If you plan on traveling, especially to other parts of the world, you may need additional vaccines to help provide you with immunity against diseases in that area. Your vaccine records will also be updated so that you are able to provide proof if needed. Whether or not you need a vaccine will also depend on what you are planning to do and what areas of the country you are planning to visit. If you are planning to hang out in a major city, then you probably don’t need a vaccine. But if you plan on going on a hike or tour in a remote part of the country, then you may be advised to get vaccinated. Discuss with your healthcare provider regarding this requirement when you plan your trip abroad next time.
COVID-19 and vaccines
With COVID-19 having spread throughout the world the need for a vaccine was very important. Now that certain pharmaceutical companies have developed vaccines, administration of the vaccine has begun. Each country has their own rollout of administrating the vaccine to the population. There are more than 150 vaccines against COVID that either have been developed or are under development. Many people are confused about whether the vaccines are safe, or should they be avoided based on their efficacy and safety concerns.
How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?
There are currently two vaccines approved by the FDA, while many others are under development. The current vaccines approved are by Pfizer and Moderna. Both of these vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, which makes them the first of their kind. mRNA studies have been done for more than 10 years, and the technology has been refined and re-targeted to help combat COVID-19. Rather than the vaccine introducing a live or inactivated virus into your body, the COVID-19 vaccine will introduce a piece of the spike protein that is found virus that causes COVID-19. This will trigger an immune response in your body. the mRNA protein will trick your body to produce a similar protein and your body will fight it. This will allow your body to create antibodies against the COVID-19 virus.
Can the vaccine give you COVID-19?
Simply put, no. The vaccines do not contain any of the live virus that causes COVID-19. It will take a few weeks after receiving the vaccine for your body to build immunity against the virus.
Why are vaccine records vital?
Vaccination schedules were developed decades ago. Vaccinations were recorded simply on pen and paper in a vaccination log or immunization record. With time, those documents sustain damages, get destroyed or lost. Those records are essential in some instances, for example, getting a job, entering a school etc. We can understand the importance of maintaining a record of vaccinations and their usefulness, not only for the client but also for the healthcare workers and others involved in healthcare.
One more reason is vaccines against COVID might have their side effects. Maintaining a vaccines tracker will help record the response to the vaccine as well. Furthermore, with the release of COVID-19 vaccines for use in the general population, making Americans keep their vaccination history up to date is essential for monitoring the vaccine’s safety and efficacy.
Vaccine recording app
Advancements in information technology engulfed the healthcare system in various forms. It changed how the system recorded, stored, maintained, retrieved and shared records. Electronic medical and health records are now replacing conventional, paper-based record-keeping systems. Electronic medical records are handling the flow of patient admission and treatments. Virtual visits to the doctor’s office made patients stay convenient at the comfort of their couch. You can order laboratory investigations and imaging requests with the click of a button. You can record your personal health, diet and workout on Personal Health Record.
To make tracking vaccines easy, we already have basic requirements. Firstly, mobile phones are the most inevitable and inseparable commodity for almost all individuals in the current world. Secondly, it is practically possible to store and carry such health-related information on their mobile phones without a hassle. On the other hand, all that needed is a mobile phone with a capable app. An app that could record and remind your vaccinations.
Primary advantages of keeping a vaccine record
The list below shows the advantages of the vaccine tracker app:
- Digital proof of vaccination. It is readily available on your mobile app or accessible via a website.
- Record once, use repeatedly. Record vaccine brand, lot number, dose and necessary details on your mobile for future use.
- Reminders for vaccination will never let you miss a vaccine.
- Portability lets you carry the records – accessible anytime, anywhere through various systems at different institutions.
- The time-saving recording process – in a matter of a few seconds, you can record and retrieve.
- User-friendly apps – no hassle of browsing through a long list of menus let you handle it with just a few taps.
- Possibility of multiple entries – let it be you or your children; you can maintain individual records for everyone.
- Find a nearby clinic or GP office where you could make the booking for your vaccinations.
Vaccine record and COVID-19
Since the COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in two parts it’s important to make sure that you keep track of when you received your doses. Additionally, we don’t know what the world will look like post COVID-19. The WHO has targeted that 70% of the global population will need to be vaccinated. There are those who definitely don’t believe in vaccines or fear that the COVID-19 vaccines have been rushed. There is a possibility that some may refuse the vaccine. Would that lead to different opportunities once the world goes back to normal? Will the population be divided between those who are vaccinated and those who are not? If that is the case, then it will become even more vital to keep your vaccine record on hand so that you may present it immediately if asked.
Apart from these advantages of record-keeping, a vaccine tracker could provide additional features useful for the user.
- Information – This feature would include facts and information about the vaccinations you receive. Details of the vaccination schedule, vaccine fact sheets about each vaccine, and its capability to prevent diseases are interesting information people would like to learn.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – General questions and doubts raised by the public are listed here, along with answers.
- Discussion forum – Essential feature where people can discuss and exchange the information and their experiences over vaccinations. In the current context of the COVID-19 vaccine, this feature will play an essential role in building trust and breaking myths. People prefer to look for opinions from the fellow for a realistic user experience.
- Information on Pregnancy and Immunization – Since this information is searched by many due to obvious reasons, this will be categorized to make the data easily accessible.
- Travel vaccination requirements – Even though now the world doesn’t travel like before, this information is beneficial for those who intend to travel to places where there are risks of a few specific vaccine-preventable infections. This information would be accessed by picking the country of travel and the implementation.
- Health tips – Useful tips for general hygienic measures to prevent infections
- Pain management tips – How to manage pain related to vaccination.
How to keep track of your vaccine records with CareClinic?
The CareClinic app is a one-stop record for your health records. The daily check-in feature includes medicine and supplements reminder, symptoms diary, vitals, measurements, mood tracker etc. You can set up reminders for your medications, work out and diet. You can even set the goals you want to achieve under the goal tracker feature.
The CareClinic app provides you with an easy solution. It is handy to keep a record of your vaccinations. The vaccine tracker in the CareCllnic lets you record your vaccination in a few taps. Since the app has a list of regular vaccinations done across the country, you have to provide the vaccination details. Add the given date, health care provider identification and brand name with many of the vaccines received.
In summary, with the CareClinic app, you can carry a record of all your vaccination handy all the time, and with reminders, you will never miss a vaccination.