I feel very grateful that I got the vaccination against the coronavirus. Most of our group got the Moderna vaccine. Some of you have also already got at least your first dose of the vaccine- either Pfizer or the Moderna. Others have preferred to wait out of concerns of possible reactions, especially some of you who have had reactions to other vaccines in the past. Now for those of you who are skeptical about vaccines in general, you should consider the following argument.
I know people who do not regularly take the flu shot each year. I admit, I am one of those. My mental argument has been that in the past it seemed to me that it made no difference whether I got the flu shot or not.. The protection obtained appeared sort of random to me. In a certain way, it is kind of random because the way they prepare the flu vaccines is that they select old strains of the virus that scientists believe may be the ones circulating that year. That may ended up being a hit or miss. Why should I then put myself at risk of a possible reaction for that sort of hit or miss? Now, along those same lines of thought, I would argue that at least as of now the coronavirus vaccine is a whole different story. Remember the vaccine is for this specific strain- and they are hoping that it will also protect against the new variants – though only time will tell. Yes, you might get a reaction especially after the second shot. I got a headache about 12 hours later, took a naproxen and was fine by the next morning. One of my colleagues could not come to work the next day because of it- though he/she is fine now. Only a few get a severe reaction, but for 90-94.5% efficacy?!! That is a risk I am willing to take.
The coronavirus vaccines – at least the 2 that are currently available in the USA (as of 1/2021)- have been shown to be 90-94.5% efficacious in preventing patients from getting very sick from covid19-. The way they did the studies was that they were looking at the number of people who got symptomatic not necessarily if they were infected. So in other words, it is unclear as of today whether the vaccine will prevent you from being an asymptomatic carrier. This certainly means, that we still need to be cautious about others and wear masks and keep social distancing. The truth is that none of us know how one would respond to the coronavirus: you may be the asymptomatic carrier, have some symptoms that resolve, or worse be one of the unfortunate ones who developed permanent damages to the body or even die – like the almost ½ million Americans that so far have sadly so. It is only in recent months that I am beginning to hear that some of my patients or their relatives have been those unfortunates.
So I ask you all to reflect about this, and make the best decision for you and your family. May god help us all!