In what is described as the “largest vaccination campaign in United States history,” hospitals around the country have started rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine over the past week to their employees who work on the front line.
In ten short months that were filled with a lot of death and despair, scientists were able to create, produce and supply a vaccine to protect against the virus that has caused a record number of deaths in 2020.
As shipments of the Pfizer vaccine have been making their way around the country, the CDC also recently approved an additional vaccine made by Moderna. The Moderna vaccine is being distributed and given out in hospitals across the country as well.
For many, this is exciting news and gives hope for what lies ahead in the new year. Perhaps the vaccination is a light at the end of the tunnel but we still have a long ways to go before we are in the clear.
Many have asked, “Will you get the vaccine?” Yes. I will be get the vaccine when it becomes available to me. There are many who need to get the vaccine before me, so I am happy to wait my turn.
Others have asked, “Aren’t you afraid of the side effects?” Every vaccination that we give has possible side effects. Some worse than others, of course. While the Pfizer vaccine was determined to be safe, regulators in the U.K. are investigating several severe allergic reactions. The FDA’s advises not to give the vaccine to those with a known history of severe allergic reactions to any of its ingredients.
“What happens if I’ve had COVID? Do I not have antibodies?” others have asked.
A prospective study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (on 12/23/20) concluded that antibodies protect most healthcare workers up to six months after infection.
I realize we all have a lot of questions about the virus and the vaccination. Remember, this is new for all of us and we are navigating the waters as well. Let’s remain hopeful, optimistic and continue to do what we can do to prevent the spread of this virus.
Happy holidays to you and your family.
Jeremiah Robinson is a licensed and certified physician assistant in Atlanta, GA