Everything to Know About the Covid Vaccines

By Patricio Flores
FEB. 8, 2021

After a long year of staying inside, wearing masks, attending school online and missing out on social events, a vaccine has been produced for Covid-19. Actually, there are two options, from two different companies, both which require two doses. Here is some valuable insight to help navigate the vaccines.

Most importantly; who’s getting vaccinated first? As of early January, supplies and vaccines are very limited in the United States, so the CDC has posted a list of people who will be getting vaccinated first here. As a brief summary, order goes as follows: frontline healthcare workers, long term residents of care facilities, older people, and younger-older people with underlying medical conditions. After these people are largely vaccinated, then comes the essential workers not previously vaccinated, then lastly, the general public or younger people without underlying health conditions. So, unless a parent is a part of the first group of people getting vaccinated or a student has a health condition, it is unlikely that any students at STA will receive the vaccine anytime soon.

Another question that may be on the top of one’s mind is the concern of side effects. According to the CDC, there won’t be any serious side effects other than the typical side effects from an annual flu vaccine. Patients may experience some flu-like symptoms. The CDC has stated that none of the vaccines have a live virus in them, so no, the vaccine cannot give you Covid. This is all according to the CDC Article: 8 Things to know about the Covid vaccines. However, this article conflicts with what both vaccine companies have publicly stated may be potential side effects. Injection site pain, swelling, or redness, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, fever, nausea, and swollen lymph nodes have all been listed as possible side effects by Pfizer, the company of the first vaccine. The company of the second vaccine, Moderna, has listed the same potential side effects minus the swollen lymph nodes. This is according to the Health article Differences between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Before moving on to the differences between the two vaccines, let’s look at the cost for the vaccines. Price will not be an obstacle to getting vaccinated. In the United States, taxpayer dollars will be used to purchase doses of the vaccines to give out to the public. However, vaccine providers are able to add an administration fee for administering the vaccine. For insured patients, this will most likely be covered by most insurance policies. To those who are uninsured or who are not being covered on the vaccine, The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund is committed to covering all Covid vaccination costs.

Both vaccines work in similar ways although being from two different companies; Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company, and Moderna, a Biotech company. They both send messenger RNA into spike proteins which activate spike proteins to kill off both messenger RNA and the SARS-Cov-2, which is the virus that causes Covid, that then leaves antibodies to protect you in the future. The difference between these vaccines and conventional ones is that conventional ones use living virus cells grown in mammalian eggs to combat whatever virus they are killing off. Another difference is that these Covid vaccines require both doses to be most effective. Pfizer has stated that after the first dose, the vaccine is 52% effective, and after the second dose it is 95% effective, all in people ages 16 and up. Moderna has also stated that the vaccine is most effective after the second dose, at 94.1% effective. The only other major difference between the two is the dosage time. The Pfizer vaccine requires doses to be spread out by 21 days while the Moderna vaccine requires spacing of 28 days.

The Raider Review sent out a survey to 78 teachers of STA to determine public opinions regarding the vaccine.   We asked teachers if they had the chance to get the vaccine, would they get it? 72% Said yes, 10% said no, and 18% said maybe depending on how much is known about the vaccines and the relevance of the vaccines at the time they would be getting it. When asked if the list of possible side effects and an uncertainty of future side effects would affect their decision to get the vaccine, 74% said no, and 26% said yes. Lastly, we presented the teachers with a scenario: If you were young and completely healthy, would you still get the vaccine? 45% Teachers said yes; to not spread the virus, 22% said yes; to be 100% safe, and 12% said yes; for other reasons. 3% Of teachers said no; because they have a high chance of survival, 4% said no; because by the time they would get the vaccine, it wouldn’t matter, and 15% said no; for other reasons.