COVID vaccine: what you need to know

Anthony Furtaw '21, Staff Writer

The long-awaited day when the COVID vaccine would become readily available to people nationwide is finally here and at-risk people, as well as healthcare and other workers, are lining up left and right to be treated. This of course begs the question, how does the vaccine work, and what long-term or short-term side effects come along with it?

According to the CDC, there are now two verified vaccines available to the public with the first one being the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the second being the Moderna vaccine. Availability for these varies from state to state and both are around 95% effective with similar side effects in the short term. There are also a few notable cases where patients have exhibited long-lasting side effects.

“When I got the news that I was eligible to be vaccinated, I was over the moon and I couldn’t wait to get my first shot.” Birmingham resident Michael Frezza said. “I think that anyone who is given the opportunity to be vaccinated should take it despite the risks to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

According to Beaumont Hospital nurse Tiffany Dan, the large majority of patients will have no side effects, while a minority may experience a couple of minor side effects for a few days post-treatment.

“Some side effects might include pain and swelling at the insertion site, chills, fever, headache, and just feeling more worn down than usual,” Dan said. “The side effects are more prevalent in patients after the second vaccine and there are also cases where severe and dangerous side effects have been noted.”

Port Huron resident Sally Boyea said that she had a very good experience before getting her shot as well as post-treatment by the staff and doctors administering the vaccine.

“Both of the times I went in to get my shots, I was treated extremely well by the staff at the clinic and I even called them after I left to let them know how much I appreciated the care that they had for people getting treated,” Boyea said. “It was a fairly quick and easy process for me and it really felt like I was in good hands.”

Frezza says that he hopes people can realize that the benefits of getting the vaccine far outweigh the negatives.

“If you think about it logically, getting the vaccine is way less of a risk than actually getting the virus and potentially spreading it to other people,” Frezza said. “Of course there is going to be small risks involved, but if you look at the numbers you are way more likely to have a serious reaction to the virus than a serious reaction to the vaccine.”