Health and Science

Left in the Past

French virologist, Luc Montagnier, once stated, “It’s clear that prevention will never be sufficient. That’s why we need a vaccine that will be safe.” Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is evident that in certain cases, vaccination is the only way to eradicate a pandemic. This virus lurked in the shadows since December 2019, not posing a legitimate threat in the US until early 2020. Needless to say, people around the world have had enough. They want to go back to times when they did not have to worry about simply going outside or shopping for groceries. Thanks to science and sufficient research, scientists have invented vaccines that have proven to be effective in preventing people from getting the Corona Virus. While many are ready and eager to take it, others are hesitant. Today we will take a deeper look into the basics of this vaccine, its composition, the way it works, and whether or not it is safe to use. We will also examine its distribution plan throughout the U.S., because what good is a vaccine if it is not distributed properly?

Many people are hesitant to get this vaccine due to a lack of knowledge. They simply just don’t know anything about the Vaccine and its contents. The Food and Drug Administration has actually compiled a list of its ingredients so people know what exactly they are putting into their bodies. According to the FDA, the Covid Vaccine is composed of the following ingredients: mRNA, lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoic), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-di tetradecyl acetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose. Because this information may not address many concerns, the FDA also explains more about how this vaccine is used, and its side effects. While this vaccine has been proven to be relatively safe, of course, there can be unprecedented results upon reception. This is illustrated through the potential side effects that include: injection site pain, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, fever, injection site swelling, injection site redness, nausea, feeling unwell, swollen, and lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy). However, these unruly outcomes don’t do the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine justice. Based on these potential side-effects, employees at Market Watch noted that only 2% of users experienced headaches and only 3.8% experienced fatigue. Based on these statistics, it is up to the patient to decide on whether or not Covid prevention is worth a potential headache. Karen Katzman, an occupational therapist and previous receiver of the Vaccine even stated, “It has been a couple of weeks now and I haven’t felt any worse than I did before I got vaccinated. While there are potential risks, I feel as though getting vaccinated is a necessity. It was my obligation as a social worker to make the environment I work in as safe as possible. It is the only way the world can move on and leave COVID in the past.” This tends to be the common belief of people who have gotten the vaccine, and experts agree that in order to move on from this pandemic, many will need to be vaccinated. 

The COVID-19 vaccine interacts in the body very uniquely. It helps our bodies develop immunity to the virus without giving us the illness. Members from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state, “Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection, but with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of memory T-lymphocytes as well as B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus in the future.” It normally takes a couple of weeks for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes after vaccination. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then gets sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection. While many people fear the symptoms, the CDC actually states, “Sometimes after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.” This just shows that there isn’t really a lot to be afraid of when receiving the vaccine because these mild symptoms only mean that it is working. 

Now that we have an effective vaccine, people have begun to question how this vaccine will be distributed. While there is a lot of doubt in distribution, and the government appears to be making an attempt to vaccinate everyone as time goes on. For example, members at VeryWellHealth explain, “The first phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution will prioritize healthcare workers, residents of assisted living facilities, essential workers, adults ages 65 and older, and people ages 16 to 64 with high-risk medical conditions.” This method of distribution seems reasonable and demonstrates that there is indeed a plan. This is also exhibited when this organization stated, “State and local health departments are managing distribution, and states are determining order of eligibility.” In addition, with a new administration in the White House, there has been a new vaccination goal set. The Biden Administration hopes to administer 100 million vaccines in 100 days! This proves the fact that the government is working tirelessly to cure the country of the plague.

While it may not seem like it, the COVID-19 vaccine is safer than most people are willing to admit. We have analyzed its contents and the way it works in the body. In addition to this, we examined the side effects and symptoms of being injected with the vaccine. While there are some negative effects, it is evident that the benefits outweigh the potential cons. The possible side effects are not critical to most people’s health, and even if the injection results in a headache, the person is now immune to the most deadly pandemic holding our planet hostage. The government is working to distribute this vaccine to everyone across the nation in hopes that we can leave COVID in the past for good.