Now It Begins

The first inoculations with the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine were administered yesterday at numerous medical centers across the nation. It marks a historic occasion that a vaccine for a novel pathogen was produced and distributed in 9 months. When President Trump first proposed that a vaccine could be made by year’s end “experts” declared the proposal “impossible.” Others said it would take a “miracle” for such a feat to take place. Dr. Anthony Fauci (whom the liberal media has canonized into sainthood) was a huge skeptic as well. Donald Trump has tremendous faith in America and the ability of Americans to accomplish miracles when they put 100% of their effort into a task. Even though he lost the election the President still attracts huge crowds at rallies or even for spontaneous events. Trump made American’s proud of their country again. Obama apologized for America because he always felt that America’s accomplishments were at the expense of others. America has always been a generous nation, ministering to the needs of the world in times of crises. We are NOT perfect as a nation, but we are always striving to better ourselves and mankind as well. The Pfizer vaccine trials did report 4 cases of Bells palsy among the trial participants. This is a temporary partial paralysis of the facial muscles on one side of the face. It is believed to be triggered by the same virus that causes chickenpox as a child (herpes varicella/zoster). This was only 4 individuals out of 44,000 people in the trial. Apparently there were a few individuals in the U.K. who experienced anaphylactic-like reactions once the immunization campaign was initiated. Pfizer officials are surprised by these reactions since the only active ingredient in the vaccine is theĀ messenger RNA (mRNA) that encodes for the spike protein on the surface of the virus. This is meant to spark the body’s immune system into making antibodies against the spike protein. The mRNA in the vaccine is encapsulated in a small bit of fat to prevent the body from breaking down the mRNA before the genetic “message” is delivered to the cell. The extremely low vaccine storage temperatures are needed to secure the integrity of this protective fat layer.

Recent polls have shown a acceptance for the vaccines is on the rise. The latest poll indicates that overall 66% say they will likely get the vaccine. Among minorities the response is much lower with only 25% of blacks saying they will definitely receive the vaccine. Latinos fall somewhere in between but less than 50%. It was symbolic that the first American to receive the vaccine yesterday was a black New York City ICU nurse. Blacks have been shown to be at a higher risk to COVID-19. Is that strictly genetic or is it due to the fact that there is a higher incidence of diabetes, heart & kidney disease among that segment of the population? Certain genes have been identified with greater severity of COVID-19 infections, but widespread genetic testing is impractical. Every healthcare professional needs to emphasize the overall safety and benefit of vaccines. The benefits of a vaccine far outweigh any risk of side effects. The chief side effects that could be expected are from immune system activation: body aches, fever, soreness (at injection site) and fatigue. If you have EVER had an anaphylactic reaction (throat swelling, trouble breathing, itching) inform the nurse or pharmacist ahead of time. For the other side effects (previously mentioned) take Motrin or Tylenol, rest and perhaps ask for a day off work. Remember to get the second dose in 3 weeks. A single dose is 52% effective alone but if you receive two doses the vaccine is 95% effective!

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