COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine

Prahchomong Thay

COVID-19 is one of the world’s most pressing issues right now. We have been dealing with COVID-19 for the past 2 years, despite the creation of a vaccine nearly a year into the pandemic. People have had ample time and opportunity to get vaccinated, yet many still put their trust in misinformation and rumors and refuse to get vaccinated. Their decision is not only irrational but also detrimental to public health.

The COVID-19 vaccine is different from previous vaccines. Most vaccines, such as a flu shot, give you a small dose of the virus. This allows your body to create an immune response to the virus, so if you actually contract it, your body is prepared to fight it. The COVID-19 vaccine is something called an mRNA vaccine. “The mRNA vaccines do not contain any live virus. Instead, they work by teaching our cells to make a harmless piece of a “spike protein,” which is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. After making the protein piece, cells display it on their surface. Our immune system then recognizes that it does not belong there and responds to get rid of it. When an immune response begins, antibodies are produced, creating the same response that happens in a natural infection.” The mRNA vaccine was synthesized more quickly than most traditional vaccinations and has proven highly effective in combating COVID-19.

Studies show that people who have been vaccinated are at a lower risk for infection and complications. “During October–November (2021), unvaccinated persons had 13.9 and 53.2 times the risks for infection and COVID-19–associated death, respectively, compared with fully vaccinated persons who received booster doses, and 4.0 and 12.7 times the risks compared with fully vaccinated persons without booster doses”- CDC. The COVID-19 vaccine isn’t a cure, and it can’t completely prevent you from infection, but receiving the vaccine will keep you and the people around you safe.

Many people who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine cite the potential side effects. However, the risks associated with getting vaccinated are largely overblown. Some recipients experience allergic reactions, but they are usually able to be treated on-site. “The benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks. Serious side effects that could cause long-term health problems are extremely unusual following any vaccination, including the COVID-19 vaccination,” says the CDC. Additionally, most places that administer the vaccine have ways to keep in contact with you after vaccination in case you experience any side effects. For example, “v-safe” is a post-vaccination health tracker, which sends you surveys to check up on how you’re feeling a week after receiving the vaccine.

Getting the vaccine is strongly recommended. Despite the opinions we may have on this vaccine, it is our job as citizens to help support the movement our leaders are trying to make to keep as many people safe as possible. The COVID-19 vaccine is backed by mountains of research from respected scientists all around the world, who all agree that it’s the best way to protect public health. The vaccine’s side effects are very minor when compared to the possible effects of COVID-19 because the results of catching COVID-19 unvaccinated can be life-threatening.