As the pandemic is developing, scientists Ugur Sahin, 55, and Ozlem Tureci, 53, dedicated their lives to the field of oncology and infectious diseases. Before Covid, they spent years pioneering personalized immunotherapy treatments for cancer. According to CNN, their approach for the Covid vaccine was to use generic material, mRNA, to trick cells into producing some protein that looks like pieces of the virus. With this plan, the immune system learns to attack those bits.
Although many people have different opinions towards the vaccine, there are still both factual benefits and disadvantages in getting the vaccine. According to the Mayo Clinic, getting the Covid vaccine can help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to get Covid for the vaccine to work. Not only is it beneficial to our health, but it also decreases the risk of spread. Due to the urgent need for approval, they were given emergency authorization but only after making sure the vaccine was safe and effective. As vaccines are continuing to get distributed, more potential covid vaccines are still in clinical trials.
With many benefits of getting it, there are still a few drawbacks. Common side effects of the Covid vaccine, according to the CDC, include pain in the injection site, fatigue, muscle aches or pain, joint pain, headache, and depending on the vaccine is given, potential fever. These may sound pretty extensive, but they are short-lived. There have been reports of severe allergic reactions to the mRNA vaccines. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines could, with a slight chance, trigger anaphylaxis. This is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction. People who develop anaphylaxis must be treated with epinephrine, the drug in EpiPens, and may need to be hospitalized to ensure their airways remain open. CDC says people should be monitored for 15 minutes after getting a Covid-19 shot, and 30 minutes if they have a history of severe allergies.
Each covid vaccine is different. Depending on the company that manufactures the vaccine, the storage temperature and effectiveness of the vaccine differ. Not only that, but some vaccines are also based on age. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has a 95% rate of effectiveness and is given to those 16 and older with two injections 21 days apart. The Moderna vaccine also has a 95% rate of effectiveness but is given to those 18 or older.
With the Covid vaccine beginning to get distributed around the world more and more, the government and medical experts are encouraging citizens to get it. Schools around the world, including Cherry Creek School District, are encouraging teachers and staff to get the vaccine to prevent the spread throughout the school environment.
“I think it’s a scary thing for starters because I mean there have been more good outcomes than bad, but still not a lot of research and testing has been done on it compared to other vaccinations’,” said student Kristina Henley.
Several Eaglecrest students have shared their opinion on the vaccine anonymously, each with a different view and opinion that may or may not be altered by family perspectives.
“I know my parents want to get it,” said Henley. “They are old and scared of getting it because of their age and we haven’t been able to do anything the same since the pandemic started, they even want me to get it.”
Several students, like Henley, stated that they don’t have a wide opinion on the vaccine. Without too much information and knowledge, most students and teenagers are unfazed by the vaccine. Brooklyn Fletcher, a junior, stated, “I don’t have an opinion on it, I just want covid to be over and if that’s gonna help them go for it. Another student then said, “I haven’t thought much of it but if it works then I don’t have any negative thoughts about it.” Due to the lack of results so far on the vaccine, most people’s opinions are incomplete and mostly based on current data and family opinions.
Within Colorado’s education system, Cherry Creek School District became the first school district to begin vaccinating school nurses, and other essential employees on January 1st of 2021. thanks to the partnership with Centura Health. In January, all CCSD educators and school staff were allowed to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. The vaccination of educators is a critical strategy to ensure we opened schools safely and successfully in January, and be able to keep them open throughout the school year.
According to Fox 31 News, Superintendent Scott Siegfried said, “The first day of 2021 we’re getting shots in the arm. What a great day to start the new year.” Although these are unfortunate circumstances, districts and schools are working hard with Centura Health to prevent further spread and continue to bring kids into the in-person learning environment for them to get the education they need.
Without a wide range of data and no idea what will happen in the future, there are only hopes in the vaccine working and slowing down this pandemic to continue back on track with our “normal” lives. As this is just the beginning all we can do is wait and anticipate for the best.