Dr. Bill gets his COVID vaccine

COVID VACCINE 2nd DOSE UPDATE: January 10, 2021

Bill had his second COVID vaccine on Friday, January 8th at 9 am. On January 9th about 4 am he woke to some joint ache (mostly his hands) and a mild headache. He took some Advil and felt better in the morning. In the afternoon of the 9th, he was a bit fatigued and sat down and watched football. That was the extent of any aftermath of the COVID vaccine. Colleagues reported that they experienced some symptoms (headache, joint or back ache) at about 16 hours post second vaccine. So this is keeping with other experiences people have had. Bill said he found the symptoms minimal and would definitely recommend the vaccine.

The vaccine is here

Blog written by Dr. Feaster.

First Pfizer, then Moderna.  Two miracle vaccines now developed and approved in record time and now rolling out to start immunizing the population against the virus that causes COVID-19.  The logistics of distributing hundreds of millions of vaccine doses across the entire country (and world) is daunting.  Because of distribution challenges, it will take a while before those reading this blog will be able to head out to their local pharmacy, like CVS, and get a COVID-19 vaccine. The hope is that it will be a similar process like getting your flu vaccine.  Some of us are fortunate because of our age and first responder status and are being offered the vaccine in the first wave.  I received mine last week and have had no symptoms.  I go back in 3 weeks for the second dose and will give you an update after that one.

Many are fearful

Many are fearful of the vaccine and say they won’t get it.  Pity.  They are both proven to be safe and very effective.  Both vaccines require two doses about 3-4 weeks apart, but when both are received, confer 95% effective immunity to the virus.  That’s about the same effectiveness as a more familiar vaccines for measles.  And if you then do contract COVID-19, it is worthy to note that no one receiving the vaccine during testing got serious disease.  So, there is no question that it saves lives, both yours and those you love.

Herd immunity

Herd Immunity

There’s lots of infectious disease lingo floating around, but one you should know about is herd immunity.  By immunizing most of the population, we’ve managed to eliminate several dreaded diseases like polio and smallpox, even if every last person isn’t immunized.  But to get herd immunity, we need at least 50 to 90% of the population to have gotten the vaccine or the disease and not be susceptible to getting the disease a second time.  The virus loses its ability to be transmitted and infect people and just dies out.  While we don’t know that getting COVID-19 prevents you from ever getting it again, it’s likely your body will have some memory of the disease and you at least would have a milder infection.  By why not wait until everyone just gets the disease and we achieve that herd immunity naturally?  Why do we need the vaccine?

Why do we need the vaccine and not just wait for natural herd immunity

To get even 60% of the population immune through infection in our population of 330 million people in the USA, that is approximately 200 million infections.  Say the death rate is only 1%, are we willing to tolerate 20 million Americans dying to achieve herd immunity? That’s 6,700 times the number of lives lost in the 9/11 attacks and is totally unacceptable to any sane human being. 

The way out

The only way out of this incredible mess of an epidemic and its impact on our loved ones, its damage to the economy, and how its ravaged the less fortunate, is to do our part and get the vaccine as soon as it is available.  That’s the only way we’ll emerge from this COVID-19 hell we’re currently living in. Just this past week, we know of two people that passed away from COVID-19.  That is just in our small sphere. What’s happened in your sphere and think of them when you make the decision to receive or not receive the vaccine.

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Sandi Feaster

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