Finally, we are receiving vaccines and working our way towards defeating this pandemic! It is exciting, frustrating and a little scary still.
Exciting that we are getting supply and getting the most vulnerable vaccinated, that Washington State is one of the (still few) states that have more folks vaccinated than folks with Covid, and our death rates are decreasing with better treatment of this novel disease. We are safely opening up more businesses and I for one am feeling safer at the grocery store with people masked and more cautious. We now have THREE vaccines available (Moderna, Pfizer and J&J/Janssen), and it appears they are effective in preventing the infection (94%, 95% and 66% respectively) and (perhaps more importantly) keeping people out of the hospital with Covid (J&J/Janssen 100% so far!)
Frustrating because nation-wide we still often don’t know what or how much vaccine we’re getting any given week. This makes scheduling really REALLY difficult! And the target of who’s eligible seems to move often. We are closing in on finishing all Phase 1 by the end of April. (This is the first line folks, teachers, and childcare staff, pregnant or disabled people, people with comorbidities and those who live in or work/volunteer at congregate living settings.)
Scary because of the stories that seem to run rampant on social media. The facts are that the few people who did get hospitalized or died with Covid after receiving the injections more often received the placebo – NOT the vaccine – in the trials. Everyone has a story to tell though, and these are valid. Side effects do happen, mostly mild to moderate, and if they happen they consist primarily of pain/swelling at the injection site, tiredness/fatigue, muscle aches, chills or fever, or sometimes nausea. These side effects more often happen after the second dose (of Moderna or Pfizer) and usually only last one to a few days. For me, I took a day off to spend in bed 😊. My 88-year-old Mom with comorbidities was fine after hers!
The bottom line? This is the road to recovery from the pandemic folks – I hope and pray we can join together and get this done!
Mary Hutton Eyer, ARNP