Well folks, I don’t know about you, but I’m encouraged. There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, and I hope it ain’t no train. ( Great country song, Thank you B.B. Watson!) Have you ever noticed that no matter what situation you find yourself in, there is a country song that addresses that problem and offers a simple solution? That solution may often involve beer, tequila, whiskey, pickup trucks, a relative, prison or a shotgun. But hey, those options cover most of our societal ills, am I right?…..
…but i digress….
In fact at least 3 vaccines, just here in the U.S. Great Britain has a different one. I know China has a few as well.
But, it’s all happened so fast. Don’t you have to test these things for, say, years?
I get it, you vaccine-doubters out there. It’s natural to wonder if brand new vaccines against a novel coronavirus, developed at unprecedented speed, are effective and safe to take.
So Let’s take a look at what we know so far;
Overall effectiveness has been reported in the range of 70% to 95%. That’s well above the average effectiveness of the flu vaccine, for example.
A Pfizer vaccine trial involving nearly 44,000 volunteers found vaccination to be 95% effective.
The Moderna vaccine trial enrolling more than 30,000 volunteers reported an effectiveness of 94%.
An AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine trial reported average effectiveness of 70% with full doses, but even better results (as high as 90%) with a lower dose. That’s one of the Great Britain ones
Johnson and Johnson announced overall effectiveness of 66% in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. The plus side of that one is that it’s a 1-dose vaccine.
In large clinical trials, most side effects have been minor. When side effects occur, they typically last just a few days. A side effect or reaction isn’t necessarily all bad, by the way; it may indicate that the body is building protection against the virus.
For the vaccines listed above, common side effects include;
pain at the site of the injection
painful, swollen lymph nodes in the arm where the vaccine was injected
muscle or joint aches
nausea and vomiting
fever or chills.
Rarely, a potentially life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis may occur, most often in people known to have had severe vaccine reactions in the past. CDC estimates suggest anaphylaxis occurs in 11 cases per million doses among people receiving the Pfizer vaccine. In rare cases Bell’s palsy and other neurologic disease have been reported after COVID vaccination. But so far, there is no clear suggestion that the vaccine played any role.
Concerns that the vaccine can cause COVID-19 are erroneous. That can’t happen, because no live SARS-CoV-2 virus is used in currently available vaccines or those in development. If a person develops COVID-19 soon after vaccination, it’s not due to the vaccine. It’s either because the vaccine failed (which is rather rare), or infection developed before the vaccine had a chance to work.
So far, we know COVID-19 is an unpredictable and potentially deadly disease. And the information we have about the effectiveness and safety of COVID-19 vaccinations is encouraging. Minor side effects should be expected; severe allergic reactions may rarely occur.
As the number of vaccine recipients and the number of different vaccines grow, we need to pay attention. What we know today about side effects and safety won’t be the last word. Volunteers in clinical trials and members of the public who have received vaccinations continue to be monitored, and they are encouraged to report problems.
So, what’s a person to do? There are pros and cons to any new medical treatment. But remember there are also pros and cons to declining treatment. I’m already seeing travel restrictions loosening for people who have been vaccinated. I think that’s going to continue for a while, at least until we have gone significantly further down the road to putting this behind us, as a planet. That might not mean much to you, but it means a lot to this travel-bug.
I sincerely think that this is a choice that each person needs to make for themselves. I don’t look down on anyone, no matter what choice they make.
I’m impatiently waiting my turn. I’d prefer the Johnson & Johnson because I like the idea of 1 shot, and am good with their 65% effectiveness. But I’ll take the first chance I get. I want as much of this COVID madness behind me as quickly as I can manage it.
You guys take care of yourselves and your loved ones,