Few illnesses have caused as much sickness and death as the coronavirus. Originating in China, this stubborn and robust pathogen has spread globally, creating a pandemic not seen in more than a century. At present, worldwide estimates sit at roughly 90 million persons infected and almost 2 million dead.
Since this disease started on its path of destruction, the scientific community has worked tirelessly to create a COVID vaccine. In many instances, developing, testing, and manufacturing vaccines for new or emerging illnesses takes years.
Fortunately, scientists’ impressive efforts at various drug development companies have led to the creation of several vaccines soon to be available to all segments of the population.
The coronavirus, which is often abbreviated as COVID-19, is an aggressive organism typically impacting your respiratory tract. The most common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Decreased sense of taste and smell
- Significant fatigue
- Body aches
You also might experience other less common occurrences, such as digestive problems highlighted by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, nasal congestion, a runny nose, a sore or scratchy throat, and headaches.
Symptoms usually appear anywhere from two to 14 days after you come into contact with an infected person. In most cases, full recovery occurs within a couple of weeks after symptoms start.
If you are overweight or obese, smoke cigarettes or vape, or have a serious underlying lung or heart disease or another major illness like diabetes, your chances of developing severe, potentially life-threatening complications increases.
To slow the disease’s progression, the Food and Drug Administration has authorized the emergency usage and distribution of two vaccinations that showed significant promise during the research stage and human trials.
The Moderna Vaccine
The COVID vaccine created by the Moderna is intended for those 18 and older. It is given in two doses roughly one month apart. Researchers maintain the vaccine is more than 94 percent effective.
The Pfizer/BioN Tech Vaccine
If you receive the Pfizer-created COVID vaccine, you will receive two injections three weeks apart. Scientists hold that this protective measure is 95 percent effective.
Other Potential Vaccines
Numerous other vaccines are currently in the trial stage. Before they can receive emergency approval, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must first review the findings to determine how effective, and above all, safe these defenses are.
How Does The Vaccine Work?
Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines’ effectiveness is credited to the presence of messenger RNA, often scientifically referred to as mRNA.
During their research, scientists discovered that Covid-19 viruses contain features called S proteins. The vaccinations get your body’s immune system cells to create harmless pieces of S proteins.
When the newly created S proteins appear, the immune system considers such structures invaders and create a response. Once this process is complete, your system will be comprised of anti-coronavirus chemicals known as antibodies.
The Administration Process
The number of available vaccinations cannot yet accommodate the entire United States population. These vaccines are being administered over several stages as established by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
During the initial phase, doctors, nurses, emergency services personnel, and elderly individuals residing in nursing homes or long-term care facilities receive the vaccine.
In the second stage, persons older than 75 and those considered essential frontline workers, such as first responders, teachers, grocery store employees, and public transit workers, receive a COVID vaccine.
You might be eligible for distribution under the third priority phase if you are between the ages of 65 and 74, are aged 16 to 64 but have a serious, diagnosed, underlying medical problem increasing your risk of serious complications, or are employed in other deemed essential professions like construction work or the foodservice industry.
If your qualifications do not match the last three categories, you will be required to wait until enough dosages of available vaccinations are abundant enough for general public administration.
Potential Benefits of Getting a Vaccine
Though you might be reluctant to receive a vaccine, medical professionals maintain doing so could result in several benefits, including:
- Spread Prevention – Covid-19 is highly contagious, and each wave has been more severe and impacted greater numbers of people than the previous event. By receiving A COVID vaccine, you help prevent the continued spread of the disease.
- Protection Against Illness – Though neither vaccination is entirely failsafe, you increase your chances of contracting the virus decrease exponentially. Additionally, in the unusual event that a vaccinated person develops the disease, symptoms will likely be far less severe.
- Safeguarding Those Around You – A vaccinated person’s family members stand at a decreased risk of getting sick. Receiving the COVID vaccine might protect your children, spouse, parents, or other relatives from becoming ill.
- Building Your Immunity – Other than contracting the virus, obtaining A COVID vaccine is the best method of building your body’s defenses against it. Few would argue that protecting yourself against the illness is far a better option than experiencing it firsthand.
Possible Side Effects
You might encounter certain side effects after receiving a vaccination.
The most common occurrences are soreness and possibly redness around the injection site. You might also experience short-lived symptoms, such as:
- Elevated body temperature
- Muscle aches
These issues are usually mild and often disappear within a few days.
A small percentage of those administered the Pfizer vaccine have reported serious allergic reactions. Additionally, an even smaller number of people experienced Bell’s Palsy – a temporary but significant form of facial paralysis.
Pfizer is aware of these events and is conducting ongoing research to identify the exact cause and investigate ways to prevent future occurrences.
Should Persons Prone to Allergic Reactions Receive the Vaccine?
Healthcare providers say that you may still safely receive the vaccine despite being prone to allergic reactions. They urge you to thoroughly discuss your medical history with the administering doctor and disclose any medications you take.
If you have any diagnosed allergic conditions, physicians recommend that you be monitored for the first 30 minutes to an hour following injection. Typically, severe reactions tend to occur not long after initial administration.
Who Should Not Receive The Vaccine?
Though most people can safely receive the COVID vaccine, you might fit into a small number of people who should not receive it.
Currently, the safeguard is not meant for children age 16 and younger. The vaccine might worsen specific medical conditions. You should discuss the possibility of getting a COVID vaccine with your doctor first.
Extra Precautionary Tips
Though vaccination provides a strong defense against the coronavirus, you are encouraged to engage in other illness-prevention tips, including:
- Washing your hands frequently using warm water and soap.
- Maintaining proper social distances from others.
- Avoiding crowded places.
- Wearing a mask when indoors or amongst relatively large outdoor gatherings.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and face.
- Remaining away from sick persons.
- Staying home or isolated when you are sick.
Moreover, you should adhere to other health-boosting suggestions, like eating a healthy, nutritious diet, obtaining enough sleep, exercising, limiting alcohol consumption, and not smoking or vaping.
The world-renowned orthopedic specialists at the Florida Orthopaedic Institute want our current and future patients to remain safe, healthy, and informed as this ever-changing and ongoing public health crisis progresses.
Our team of critically claimed surgeons, specializing in various orthopedic disciplines, looks forward to helping you overcome pain and physical injuries. Further information about our Florida Orthopaedic Institute can be found by visiting our website.