Concerns rise over the newly released COVID-19 vaccine


Number of new cases at the beginning of each month. Source: New York Times

Brandon Trinh, Health and Techbology Editor

COVID-19, more commonly referred to as the Coronavirus, has affected everyone and everything from walks to the park, school, work, parties and other large social gatherings, but that is all hopefully about to change due to the recent release of the vaccine. The vaccine is being handled by two companies: Moderna and Pfizer. The vaccine is given in two doses. The first one is given, then the second one is given after three weeks time.

   Nikki McWorther, a nurse who is distributing the vaccine, explains how the vaccine works.

  “The vaccine is a mRNA vaccine (which is not actually the disease but a protein cell), it’s a way to give our body the information to fight off the vaccine … Vaccine injection is intramuscular injection,”  McWorther said. 

   Angie Long, a medical coder for the James Cancer Hospital, comments on the after effects of the shots. 

Covid-19 vaccine reminder. Photo courtesy of Isabella Mercurio

   “My arm was sore on the first day of the shot and it was sore for the next day as well, but it felt fine after the third day,” Long said.

   Senior Zsofia Kacsandi works at Park Side Living Center and is experiencing similar effects after the first vaccine.

   “I felt perfectly fine after receiving my first shot, we had to wait 15 minutes after we received the shot before we left to ensure we were not dizzy or felt like we were going to pass out,” Kacsandi said. 

   Long comments on the concerns of the vaccine. 

   “I am not worried about the side effects of the vaccine. I come from a long line of nurses and they were all aching to get the vaccine, so I try to look at it from a medical perspective. I do not feel like a guinea pig as others would say they do. But I understand where these doubts come from, like low income families where they don’t really trust our government, or are just uneducated in the circumstances so it makes sense why they are worried,” Long said. 

   McWorther clears up confusion around the vaccine. 

   “The vaccine only protects you from getting sick from the virus, not preventing the spread; you are still able to spread the virus,” McWorther explained.

   Senior Nathan Hynes has concerns about the vaccine.

   “I’m just worried about the side effects. I understand it’s been approved by the FDA and such but there has never been a vaccine produced this fast. Most vaccines take years and human trials, but this one feels rushed due to all the stories coming out, it just worries some. I would love to get the vaccine, but I’m just worried how the virus is still spreadable even after getting the shot,” Hynes said. 

   Hynes and many others share the same opinion. Others like Kascandi believe that the vaccine will work in the prevention of the virus but are still unsure due to circumstances.

    “I do believe the vaccine will work but only time will tell,” Kascandi said.

   “I think it will be a while before everything goes back to normal, and I don’t know if society could go back to the pre-COVID era. The virus has taken away almost a year of our lives and will be difficult to put behind us,” Kasandi said.

     Although this past year has been a strange one for everyone there is still hope thanks to this vaccine.     

   “I am hopeful for the future although this vaccine has been pushed out quickly, I still have faith in it. There is no way to completely tell what will happen, but the vaccine is a step in the right direction for sure,” Hynes said.