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Drew: Side effects to the COVID–19 vaccines

By Samuetta Hill Drew

The safety articles will continue its focus on the two federal authorized vaccines through the month of February. The medical and scientific experts currently believe these two-federal authorized COVID-19 vaccines – Pfizer-BioTech & Moderna are the key to the health and safety of Americans during this pandemic and beyond. A key which could return our nation back to some reasonable sense of normalcy.
 In an article dated February 7, 2021 in The Wall Street Journal, the writers Daniela Hernandez and Drew Hinshaw write, “Vaccination drives hold out the promise of curbing Covid-19, but governments and businesses are increasingly accepting what epidemiologists have long warned: The pathogen will circulate for years or even decades, leaving society to co-exist with Covid-19 much as it does with other endemic diseases like flu, measles, and HIV.” They further write that “Endemic Covid-19 doesn’t necessarily mean continuing coronavirus restrictions, infectious-disease experts said, largely because vaccines are so effective at preventing severe disease and slashing hospitalizations and deaths.”
 As more and more Americans are becoming eligible to receive the vaccine more side effects are being reported. The first week in February reported that close to 28 million Americans have received their first dose of these two dose vaccines. Approximately 6.5 million of these Americans have received their second dose of the vaccine. Both vaccines require the second dose be administered within a designated time frame.
 Many individuals have reported experiencing some type of side effect outlined in an earlier article last month. Many have indicated the side effects occurred mainly after receiving their second dose. Fevers, headaches, fatigue, chills, muscle aches and soreness around the injection sites and the inability to do daily activities seem to be the most reported side effects.
 Health experts say these side effects are normal. They believe the side effects are signs that your body is building the immune response it needs to protect itself from a severe disease. The side effects are said to be somewhat painful and unpleasant, but doctors say they start and end quickly over a few days.
 In the February 4, 2021 edition of The Miami Herald, Katie Camero writes an easy to follow and understand explanation for what is going on inside your body after receiving the two dose vaccines. She writes, “The first shot floods your immune system with instructions that teach your cells to pump out harmless proteins similar to those the coronavirus uses to infect people. Meanwhile, special cells in your immune system recognize the proteins as foreign invaders. …. The end result is an army of antibodies that are primed to spot and kill real coronavirus proteins if your body encounters them. The second dose which repeats this process is a firm reminder of the threat of infection. Not only does the threat make the immune system work even harder to nail the fight down, but it also solidifies maximum protection. …”
 If your side effects become severe, call 911, go to the nearest hospital or contact your vaccine provider. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a smartphone base tool to help you Keep an Eye on Safety called “v-safe”, an after-vaccination health checker. V-Safe uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC says that v-safe quickly tells the CDC if you have any side effects after getting the vaccine and depending on your answers, someone from the CDC may call to check on you and get more information. Go to vsafe.cdc.gov. to register.