The vaccines are here! I gratefully received my first shot Sunday December 20, 2020 at 11:15 am at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center.
I watched on CSPAN as the FDA had an open panel discussion regarding the data surrounding the Pfizer vaccine. They repeated that action regarding the Moderna vaccine one week later. I felt secure and confident that the data was robust and all parties were thoughtful in their deliberations.
So like many of my health professional colleagues, I got my shot. The needle was as short as the flu shot and there was no discomfort with the shot itself. I felt some discomfort in my left deltoid that evening and it was tough to sleep on my left side. But by the next day and next night, there was no discomfort whatsoever. I haven’t had a febrile reaction or anything.
What is disturbing is knowing that there are many that are offered the vaccine that are declining it. The pandemic is not going to end with OTHER people getting vaccinated, we all have to participate. I suppose the reason for not getting the vaccine is the idea that long term side effects are not known. However, we have a track record of a host of other vaccines that have not caused problems. I’ve heard from a nurse right there on the front line that they worry about it’s effect on fertility. There is no reason to expect that would be affected at all. There is a risk to fertility by crossing the street. You might get hit by a car and have trauma that prevents procreation. Yet we look both ways, cross the street, because there is a benefit to being on the other side. Yet, fear of the unknown unduly affects people. I’m more afraid of the known– COVID-19. Over 300,000 American are dead and each is more than a number. They are people without terminal illness who now are lost to their friends and loved ones. Over 17 million infected. Hospitals and ICUs at capacity. 100,000 restaurants out of business. Relationships stagnated. Deficit spending.
When the vaccine is offered one has to weigh the risks and benefits. The short term risk of the vaccine that we know so far is minimal. The long term risks while not known, are likely to be no different than any other vaccine. The benefits are clear— the end of the pandemic. Isn’t that worth it?