While we are all anxiously waiting to hear where we are on the Covid-19 vaccination list, it is also helpful to know about the vaccines. We probably won’t be able to choose which vaccine we get. Researchers may determine that people with particular conditions, like severe allergies, are better off with specific vaccines.
In the meantime, vaccine developers have tested all vaccines for safety and efficacy. The FDA will consider their reports and give the go-ahead for their use. Because Covid-19 vaccines are still a developing area, we will know more and more about each vaccine as more and more people get vaccinated.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Henry de Bracton, English jurist, b. 1210 d. 1268, said it best, and this maxim is the basis for all preventive medicine and care! Because Covid-19 is a new virus, doctors did not know how to treat it. They knew even less about how to prevent people from getting it. Over nearly a full year, scientists know much more, and many more than thirty vaccines have been in testing phases around the world. Covid-19 vaccination will become as common as flu vaccination as we crush the pandemic!
More about Covid-19 vaccine
Because the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines rely on fragile components, like mRNA, facilities must keep them very cold before use. This has limited their initial distribution to facilities that can maintain the extreme cold necessary. But neither of these vaccines can GIVE you the virus.
Vaccine scientists have used at least two different techniques over the past 200 years. Several vaccines made with the live, weakened organism are Polio (Sabin) and Influenza (FluMist). Vaccines made with the killed organism are Polio (Salk), Influenza (injectable), and West Nile Virus. Failures of these types of vaccines could give you the disease. Researchers have moved on to creating vaccines that use only pieces and parts of the virus. For instance, the Hepatitis vaccine uses a surface antigen, and the Papilloma vaccine uses a “virus-like particle.”
Five different vaccines are under Phase 3 Human Trials in the United States currently. Other vaccines under development use different approaches to the same end. One relies on a harmless virus loaded with a coronavirus gene for a protein that will induce an immune response, and several companies are working on more traditional, weakened-virus vaccines. [NPR]
Covid-19 vaccination tips
The vaccines for Covid-19 are not “go back to normal” tickets. The covid-19 vaccine will keep you from getting the virus and keep you from facing hospitalization or death. But even if you can’t contract the virus yourself, you may still be able to pass it on if you have been exposed.
- Get both shots; Pfizer’s and Moderna’s Covid mRNA vaccines are two doses, several weeks apart
- Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine is one shot
- Get the vaccinate, even if you had Covid-19.
- If you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines have not been specifically tested in pregnant women yet. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor about getting the vaccine. But if you get COVID-19, you are at increased risk for severe illness.
- Expect mild to moderate side effects, mostly swelling, pain, redness at the injection site, fatigue, and sometimes including fever that resolves within about 24 hours.
These side effects are indications that the vaccine is working…causing your body to create antibodies. You’ll have similar side effects as those you get with the Shingrix shingles vaccine.
- Keep wearing a mask
- Observe social distancing
- You may need booster shots every six months or year. Current vaccines have only been tested for six months, so they don’t know how long the vaccine will protect you.
- Early vaccines have not been tested in children under 12, so it will be a while before vaccines are authorized for younger children.
- The safety of the youngest students will depend on whether their school makes sure that students, faculty, and staff keep properly distanced and wear masks where appropriate; provides washing-up areas, and ensures good ventilation.
Where can I get the vaccination?
Look for up-to-date information at the CDC website and Texas Health sites. For more information in Texas.
In the meantime, learn what you can, keep safely wearing your mask and distancing, and avoid crowd situations, especially indoors! Vedas Medical Spa and Woodlands Functional Family Medicine are available for drive-up Covid-19 testing in our parking lot. You don’t need an appointment, but come between 9:00 and 5:00 weekdays and call us at 281-298-5476 when you pull up outside. For other services, call for your free consultation with Dr. Nangrani and our Spa Director.
Vedas can test you without an appointment. Just drive up to our office and call our receptionist at 281-298-5476. She will send staff to do your paperwork and your tests. If you have medical insurance, you will only pay your co-pay. If you are uninsured, you will pay fee-for-service: PCR test, $125; Antibody and Rapid Antigen tests, $110 each.
Vedas Medical Spa & Wellness Center is minutes from I-45 (Houston’s North Freeway) in The Woodlands. We look forward to seeing you soon!