Vaccination of COVID-19 begins with many questioning should I get it

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Photo Credit: Photo via Jackie Poznanski

On December 15th, 2020, New Jersey hospitals began providing vaccinations for people serving in health facilities. As the vaccination of COVID-19 begins distribution; nurses, elders, and first-responders are feeling pressure to get the vaccine immediately. Since the uprising, companies such as Pfizer, Moderna, and possibly Johnson & Johnson have dissected vaccinations.

On December 15, 2020, New Jersey hospitals began providing vaccinations for people serving in health facilities. As the vaccination of COVID-19 begins distribution, nurses, elders, and first-responders are feeling pressure to get the vaccine immediately.

New Jersey COVID Stats

New Jersey has experienced various case spikes throughout the pandemic. Therefore, many people feel an obligation to help reduce the number of cases. However, many feel that a strong immune system have a higher chance of recovery, therefore, don’t need to be vaccinated. Since the uprising, companies such as Pfizer, Moderna, and possibly Johnson & Johnson have dissected vaccinations.

Pfizer Vaccination

The Pfizer vaccination consists of 2 shots that are 21 days apart. This shot is distributed through the upper arm muscle. This particular vaccine does not contain eggs, preservatives, or latex. The Pfizer-BioNTech company recommends the vaccination to ages 16 years and older.

Pfizer does not permit those with a severe allergic reaction/ immediate allergic reaction to get vaccinated. An immediate allergic reaction means a reaction within four hours of getting the vaccination. This includes symptoms such as hives, swelling, or wheezing/ respiratory distress. Furthermore, this allergic reaction includes polyethylene glycol (PEG) and polysorbate. To find more information about the Pfizer vaccine click on the CDC information site.

Moderna 

Another company that is also currently distributing COVID-19 vaccinations is Moderna. This vaccine is very similar to the Pfizer vaccine considering it consists of two shots and exhibits the same restrictions.

In contrast, Moderna recommends their vaccine to those 18 years and older. The side effects stated are pain, swelling, and redness in the arm where one got the shot. Throughout the rest of one’s body, chills, tiredness, and headache are also considered normal side effects. To find more information regarding the Moderna vaccination, visit the CDC website. 

Johnson and Johnson 

Similarly, Johnson & Johnson publicly announced their trials for COVID vaccinations as well. The company launched phase 1/2a in July of 2020. This trial evaluates the safety of the potential vaccine, expected reactions, and immune responses. Based on positive interim results from a Phase 1/2a trial, the company launched a Phase 3 pivotal trial in September.

Johnson & Johnson is testing a single dose of the vaccine, unlike the two-dose coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. However, since Johnson & Johnson’s Phase 3 trial results have not yet been released; scientists don’t know how well the vaccine will work or how long its protection will last.

Future Johnson & Johnson

If the vaccine is effective, it’s possible that the number of antibodies will drop in the months after vaccination. However, the immune system may contain special cells called memory B cells and memory T cells that will retain information about the coronavirus for years or even decades.

As the vaccination of COVID-19 begins distribution; stay informed on the different companies showcasing vaccines. Remain safe and help society by wearing a mask, washing your hands, and maintaining six feet apart from others.

I am very willing to have these symptoms for a few hours in return for not getting severe COVID-19, contributing to heard immunity, and getting life back to normal.”

— Dr. Suzanne M. Simkovich (Physician Investigator at Medstar Health Research Institute, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University & Intensivist at Medstar Health
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Medical official’s response

Dr. Suzanne M. Simkovich, M.D., M.S. is an Intensivist (taking care of patients only in the intensive care unit) at Medstar Health, Physician Investigator at Medstar Health Research Institute and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University. Over the past ten months she cared for patients with COVID-19 pneumonia in the Baltimore area. In an exclusive, Simkovich stated, “The two vaccines that have been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) are 90-95% effective in preventing severe disease from COVID-19. This is considered very effective. By getting the vaccine, it can prevent those infected with the virus from needing hospitalization. It will also shorten the course of illness and lower the chance of a person who is infected having long-term debilitation from the virus.”

In her line of work, Simkovich has witnessed number of younger patients (age 20-40) with severe pneumonia from COVID-19 who will have debilitations for the rest of their lives from this disease. This leads her to believe that all adults should consider getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

In addition, Simkovich noted, “COVID-19 has been most deadly in those over the age of 75 particularly living in nursing homes. At the same time, younger age groups are essential workers and needed in the community to keep society moving. I favor vaccinating essential workers in the next round as we need these people for society to continue to function.”

Although the vaccine is only recommended for people 16 years of age and older, studies on the effects of the vaccine on children are set begin next month.

In regards to getting vaccinated even though you have the antibodies for it, Simkovich added, “At this time, we do not know if the protective effect of antibodies. Small studies have shown periods of immunity with antibodies, but this is not conclusive. Further, we do not know if the antibodies are protective against all strains of the virus. Thus, at this time, someone with antibodies should receive the vaccine.”

Side effects

According to Men’s Health Magazine, “Collectively, the companies’ clinical trials have tested more than 73,000 people.” In those trials, the side effects for the Covid-19 vaccine were the same for any vaccine: Soreness in the injection spot, headache, fatigue, redness at the injection spot, joint pain, nausea, chills and muscle aches are the most common side effects.

Dr. Simkovich stated, “I am very willing to have these symptoms for a few hours in return for not getting severe COVID-19, contributing to heard immunity,  and getting life back to normal.”

Vaccination Sites

NJ.com released a list of 77 sites administering the vaccine in New Jersey which includes certain Shoprite grocery stores. To get the vaccine, one must register to do so in New Jersey. Use the state’s portal to register to receive the vaccine:COVID-19 Vaccine (nj.gov)

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