Americans step towards normalcy

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Photo submitted by Addie Demars

Junior Addie Demars gets her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Allina Health pop up clinic. Demars is an essential worker at Boutwells Landing, a senior home, and getting this vaccine is more than just for herself.

With COVID-19 vaccines getting more and more accessible in America, Americans are finally getting their hands on them. Trying to slow the spread of COVID-19, average people are getting their vaccinations and getting back to normal. The vaccine is the key to finally get out of this slump and start living again. The vaccine means getting to hug grandparents, go to concerts, and not have to worry in a social setting. It is such a crucial step right now especially with rising numbers, therefore, people need to do their part and get the vaccine.

Pfizer and Moderna are our messenger RNA vaccines, and then there is the Johnson and Johnson one that delivers DNA in a little vesicle. The body creates spike proteins that are specific for COVID-19 and then the cell releases that, which allows the immune system to see these spikes and recognize that they’re foreign then mount an immune system response. The whole point of any vaccine is to allow the immune system to recognize the pathogen without causing any harm. This creates herd immunity after two doses.

Many myths are being spread about this vaccine more than others. Things being said such as, it can lead to death, it can cause strokes, and even that the vaccine can produce COVID-19. Multiple studies have proven this to be wrong, yet people still disregard all the science behind it.

Biology teacher Stacy Bartlett explained “Vaccines can’t cause disease” because they’re inactivated viruses that are just a part of the brain.

Furthermore, with the scientific evidence above it is clear that not everything that is published is true. There is a vast amount of fake news being spread about this vaccine, especially now that COVID-19 has sprung into a political topic, and it is necessary to read and get educated on what this vaccine legitimately has to hold. 

In addition, It is said that with the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccine there will be “side effects” from the injection. While this is true, they are only mild side effects and do not last very long. Just like a flu shot; drowsiness, sore arm, and maybe ill for a day. 

“After my second dose I felt a little tired, and that was it, but I still compare it to having COVID,  I was so sick from COVID and I still don’t have my sense of smell back. So take your 24 hours of feeling kind of gross, because it is so much better than feeling gross for weeks,” nurse Traci Torseth said.

I have enough understanding of the vaccine and trust in my particular doctor. I read the research studies, and the science was there to support it.”

— Stacy Bartlett

It is important to understand that people might get a little sick after getting the vaccine but, the benefits make the shot so much more worth it, in the long run, especially comparing the effects to COVID-19.

Nevertheless, this vaccine has been researched and tested numerous times and it is safe to say it is effective and healthy. It has been proven that Pfizer and Moderna are safe for ages 18 and up. While Johnson and Johnson were just retracted, that does not mean the other two are harmful.

“I have enough understanding of the vaccine and trust in my particular doctor. I read the research studies, and the science was there to support it. Science is that way there either is evidence to support something or not and sometimes we get it wrong and, and hopefully we don’t get it wrong,” Bartlett added.

There is so much science behind this vaccine and so much need for it. This vaccine is a crucial key for slowing, and in turn, ending this pandemic. While it is scary how little is known about this vaccine, science does not lie and there are further facts for this vaccine to go wrong.

However, many believe that they do not need the vaccine because COVID-19 won’t physically harm them. While in reality, it is possible to be a carrier of the virus and be asymptomatic, leading the virus to be able to be spread with no notice. 

Junior Addie Demars works at Boutwell’s Landing, a senior living home. She got the vaccine to not just protect herself but also protect any patient she comes into contact with. By getting the vaccine, Demars has an extra layer of protection.

The vaccine is more than for personal usage. The vaccine is injected to create immunity against COVID-19. Getting the vaccine is a safe and selfless way to prevent the spread and keep others safe.

On the other hand, even with all the evidence and science given, it is understandable to be hesitant about this vaccine. This is one of the fastest created and distributed vaccines in history. A majority of Americans were already against vaccines in general, and this fast-tracked vaccine gives them even more doubt. Even though there are a very small fraction of bad reactions due to the vaccine, it goes to show that it is not 100% safe. Concluding that it is reasonable to be skeptical and apprehensive of getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

In the end, one thing Americans can agree on is that everyone wants this pandemic to be over. Adults want their normal life back, and kids want to go to school again. Getting this vaccine will lead us in that direction, so do your part and get vaccinated because this pandemic is not going to end itself.