Preparing for the COVID-19 Vaccination

COVID-19 vaccine

When looking into getting the COVID-19 vaccination, you have several options. You can get Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson. Pfizer and Moderna are currently a two-dose regimen, which may become a three-dose regimen depending on variants of the virus that develop across the world. Johnson and Johnson is a one-dose regimen, but administration of this vaccination has been put on pause as its potential to cause blood clots is currently being investigated.

These three options will help people get protected from the devastating effects of COVID-19. Over time, as more and more people get vaccinated, the hope is that herd immunity develops where populations as a whole develop an effective response to the disease. As we work together to resume socialization with others, we have to acknowledge that it is a group effort, and everyone has something to contribute.

All of the information about the vaccines below comes from the Center for Disease Control. You can also get the latest news about the pandemic and vaccinations from the CDC.

An Overview of mRNA Vaccines

Coronaviruses are named for the spike proteins that surround them on the surface. They serve as a great target for a vaccine. The mRNA injected with the vaccine teaches your body how to make spike proteins. Then, your body mounts an immune response against these spike proteins. Once that happens, your body is made to recognize the virus and fend it off if you are ever infected at a later date.

Possible Symptoms or Side Effects

After receiving an mRNA vaccine, you may experience a mild fever, headache, or chills. This is part of your body’s immune response to the formation of spike proteins.  This reaction is normal and shows that the vaccine is working. Many people report having more side effects from their second dose.

Given these side effects, however, you may want to take time off from work on the day you get the vaccine. This will help give you the time you need to rest, recuperate, and return to work in a healthier state. Different people have different responses to vaccination. Many people complain about their arms being sore after the injection.

Pfizer Vaccine

This mRNA vaccine is approved for ages 16 and up. It is administered in two doses, 21 days apart. Based on clinical trials that have been conducted so far, the vaccine is 95% effective so far.

Moderna Vaccine

This mRNA vaccine is approved for ages 18 and up. It is administered in two doses, 28 days apart from one another. Based on clinical trials that have been conducted so far, the vaccine is 94.1% effective so far.

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

This vector vaccine is approved for people ages 18 and up. It is administered in one dose. Based on clinical trials that have been conducted so far, the vaccine is 66.3% effective so far. This was tested on the most diverse population of patients. It is shown to be most effective two weeks after injection. Note that there is a temporary hold on the distribution of this vaccine as some recipients have experienced rare and severe blood clotting. If you got this vaccine, the CDC recommends seeking medical care urgently if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • severe headache
  • backache
  • new neurologic symptoms
  • severe abdominal pain
  • shortness of breath
  • leg swelling
  • tiny red spots on the skin (petechiae)
  • new or easy bruising

A note on vector vaccines: They work differently than mRNA vaccines. They focus on the empty vector of the virus to generate an immune response.

In Conclusion

There are several options for the vaccine against COVID-19 — Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. You should contact your local health authorities to find vaccine distribution sites in your area. Most people in most states have access to some version of the vaccine at this point. While getting the vaccine does pose certain risks, the risks are far less severe than getting the actual virus. Continue to exercise caution in your daily life even after receiving the vaccine. Several studies have shown that those who have contracted COVID-19 can suffer long-term consequences from the virus. To protect your body and your brain, try getting vaccinated.

As always, it is not our place to judge others and their individual decisions. Our job is just to promote communal well-being. Taking care of each other as we continue to survive this global pandemic remains important, as well as our medical response.

At Valiant Living, we want our clients to be well-informed about their options for health and safety issues. It is your choice whether or not you get vaccinated, but this article covers the options you have for staying healthy and preventing transmission of COVID-19. Our men’s only treatment facility in Denver, Colorado, offers inpatient and outpatient services. We know that many people have turned to substance use or returned to substance use during the pandemic to cope. We are here to help you out of that cycle. We treat substance use disorders and co-occurring mental illnesses. Our expert staff wants you to be safe. Colorado has several options for vaccine distribution so that you can feel protected while you are here. We are so grateful for the Valiant Living community and will continue working to support one another through the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about our services for addiction and mental health, reach out to us today at (303) 952-5035.