The American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Nurses Association issued a joint release today urging health care professionals "to get the COVID-19 vaccine and share your experience with others."
"While the arrival of vaccines is good news in the fight to defeat COVID-19, it does not signal an immediate end to our nation's suffering. Just as we have been pushing for adoption of the precautions we all know work – masking, hand hygiene and physical distancing – we must also push for high rates of vaccination within the U.S. population if we hope to overcome this virus. This will require trust in the COVID vaccination process, from the development, distribution and administration of a safe and effective vaccine as well as a willing public to get vaccinated….As frontline caregivers, our essential role in protecting the health and wellbeing of our communities goes beyond the care we provide. As a valued and trusted voice, our example is perhaps the strongest health resource we have."
Here is my story.
I was extremely fortunate to be among the first group of providers at our hospital to get vaccinated on Wednesday. (The top dogs got the vaccine on Tuesday!} I had no qualms about getting it. I read about it, talked to experts and was sold. A few key points:
You can't get COVID from the shot. It contains no dead virus or attenuated (weakened virus.) Corona virus consists of 25 proteins; the vaccine tells the body to make one protein.
The mRNA cannot mess with your DNA. It enters the cell, but not the nucleus. MRNA viruses have been given safely to cancer patients for years without major issues.
While vaccines typically take much longer to approve, thanks to advances in technology, including the mapping of the human genome, great strides were possible. Red tape was removed, funding was plentiful, the best minds worked on it, and most importantly, no shortcuts were taken in the final clinical portion of the trial. Over 70,000 doses of the vaccines were given to people before approval and independent safety boards found no major concerns.
The vaccine is 95% efficacious.
My man Dr. Fauci says it's good enough for him, so it's good enough for me.
I received the shot at noon on Wednesdays and as I write now over thirty hours later, I have had no fever, no aches and no fatigue. I didn't feel the needle go in and I did not bleed. Once in the night when I lay on my left shoulder, I could feel I had a shot there. Once, I had a five second shiver, but that was due to an unpleasant thought. I was going to take it easy today, but we had a Nor'easter last night that dumped more than a foot of snow on us, and with the wind drifts, almost buried my car in the driveway. For my 25th work anniversary gift (we get to pick it from a catalog), I chose my first ever snow blower, which I assembled last night. Unfortunately, The storm was too much for it. It wasn't very powerful, and crapped out before my driveway was a third done. I grabbed the manual shovel and like John Henry, I showed the machine who was the man.
Still feeling good, I'm ready to hit the streets tomorrow. COVID is still out there, and I don't think the vaccine kicks in fully for a week or so (I will have to get a booster in 21 days) but I will be armed with my mask and PPE and be ready to do my job.
I hope everyone gets a chance to get the vaccine soon and that they will act on it. Protect yourself. Protect your family and protect your community. That's what we do in EMS. It's our job.
Peace to all and a middle finger to COVID.
Also, many grateful props to the scientists who developed the vaccine and all who helped make it a reality. Thank you.