The Student News Site of Kennard-Dale High School

A “Shot” at Normalcy

It has been around 15 months since the first reported coronavirus case was discovered in the U.S. Through what has felt like such a drought of joy filled with much misfortune, there is thankfully much hope to be had.

Multiple companies have manufactured the highly anticipated vaccine for covid-19, and they are being distributed across the globe for usage. Currently, America has given 175 million doses of the vaccine to date, along with 66.2 million citizens being fully vaccinated. This is 20.2% of the country’s population.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three vaccines. These are the Pfizer shot, Moderna’s shot, and the Johnson & Johnson shot. Pfzier and Moderna require two separate doses to be given three weeks apart, while the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine is only one.

With such impressive accomplishments so far, it is important we reflect and strategize with how to continue this success worldwide. If the public truly wants to resume life before this virus, we must first address another virus. The virus of misinformation about covid and vaccines, because like the actual coronavirus, misinformation has taken countless lives.

It is very unlikely that these vaccines will leave long-term effects. Such an idea has been widely debunked in the infectious disease community, and considering most of us have taken the required vaccinations to attend our public school, let me ask you, do you have any long-term effects from those? I doubt it.

When put in perspective, you have to remember we do have actual data displaying the long-term effects coronavirus causes infected individuals. Long-term effects of the vaccine are a small possibility, covid’s long-term effects are certain. This goes for whatever health status and age group you are a part of. Covid potentially leaves a loss of smell, taste, and can even impact the brain. Anything with the possibility of preventing this sounds good to me.

Even vaccination skeptics must admit, with all things considered, these vaccines are the key to returning to our old way of life. The best possible option we have at the moment due to a half-and-half attempt of slowing the spread.

A life free from masks and social distancing measures that interfere with everyday routines. This is attainable if we all ban together. We have the vaccines now. This is what we wanted, so what is the excuse now?

The reason for excuses along with reluctance, would be all the misconceptions surrounding the whole virus in the first place. The legitimacy of masks are still disputed, quarantining has been unfavorable amongst many, and people are simply longing for a life free from the grips of covid. So, do not give into the fear mongers who would rather lie to create chaos than tell you the truth. The truth is that medical professionals know a lot more than your peers and even family members.

After all, medical professionals, even the top infectious disease doctor, are under attack from all angles. When their sole purpose is to help the public, we must keep in mind these doctors know a lot more than we do. Trust in them.

Such questions surrounding the speed of the vaccine production have also been raised, and is one of the oft quoted reasons for not getting the shot.

While it is easy to forget the huge period of time in which we waited for a solution to this virus, there must be a point where we give credit where it is due. We worried for months if there would ever be an end, and the doctors are finally offering that solution. It is up to us to stop this deadly disease.

Another reason as to why the vaccine production seemed so quick, would be because the world’s top doctor’s have gathered collaboratively, regardless of their differences, to collect data, research, and to create effective vaccines to distribute across the world. As much as we seek truth, the idea that all of these experts are attempting to hurt you in any way with these shots is ridiculously incorrect if not just offensive.

If safety is of concern, the Johnson-Johnson vaccine was believed to have caused blood clots among six participants that were all women. Even with a six out of millions of people having serious complications from the single shot vaccine, this vaccine was immediately pulled from distribution by the very people that are distrusted by many. Our safety is the priority from these doctors, which is why they did not hesitate to halt the Johnson-Johnson, as they will if anything else occurs.

Vaccines for covid have actually been years in the making, the paramount scientific breakthrough of replicating the virus was actually made ten years ago; see that article here. These vaccinations were not just thrown together to be injected willy-nilly. This did take time.

If the speed of its production is what still throws you off, consider that, just maybe, the people in charge of cracking the essential code to end this virus are just that much qualified and experienced to do so.

There were countless amounts of organizations, celebrities, and companies all funneling any possible funds and aid necessary in helping these top doctors manufacture and distribute these vaccines the way they did. With all resources necessary, the best infectious disease doctors collaboratively did what they do. Help eliminate infectious diseases.

I know it is easy to become “covid fatigued” and immediately resume carefree living, but acting as if this virus is not dangerous and nonexistent will not change restrictions. It will only prolong this alternative way of living covid has caused. We must be patient.

The FDA is currently reviewing six to eight new vaccines. This will be huge in speeding up the vaccination process even more.

If we continue to vaccinate at the rate we are today, we could possibly achieve a sense of normalcy through population immunity as early as this July, but more realistically around the end of November 2021 according to USA Today.

Instead of degrading and doubting the medical experts, let’s appreciate just how impressive it is that such a tragic disease can be combated in the way it is. Many years ago such an infectious disease would have destroyed economies and lives across the world. Even worse than it has today. Modern medicine has come a far way and it deserves our support.

Yes, it is easy to dismiss my opinion without a sense of credibility to present, but I have actually received my first vaccine dose not too long ago, and I have to say I was in awe of the whole process.

I have to admit that I have a slight fear of getting shots, but this was easily the best vaccination experience I have been through, and I left the M&T Bank Stadium with a feeling of hope and a burden released.

The volunteers were extremely kind and reassuring. They operated like a well oiled machine administering shots in a quick and impressive manner. Military members were even around to help the process better operate, while ensuring the safety of everyone.

When in the actual chair to receive the shot, it took about three seconds and was virtually painless. When my brother and I were finished, we stood in the waiting area for 15 minutes to ensure no side effects too serious took place. I noticed no issues during my time in the waiting area, and I was surrounded by many people–who who were definitely smiling under the masks. A look that they had just received their only shot at normalcy.

I cannot speak for other vaccination sites or vaccines, but my first Pfizer shot I received at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland was not just efficient, but in my eyes, the model of how such a triumphant task should be handled.

This experience could not have gone any better when considering how tough this has been for so many. For myself and my brother, it was a true testament of good people working together to achieve something special.

While I do understand the reluctance of many Americans to receive a covid-19 vaccine, we have to keep in mind the whole situation is bigger than ourselves. By taking this vaccine, you are not just keeping yourself safe, but you are possibly preventing literal death of loved ones, both yours and strangers’.

Sure, you may be fine without it, but what about those who cannot control the risks? Who would not be fine without a vaccine? Consider that there are many individuals that cannot get the vaccine due to pre-existing health problems. I know for myself, I felt not just relieved at the chance to get my shot, but obligated due to the circumstances others cannot control when not getting the vaccine.

I hear much about freedom in regards to covid prevention, but we must remember the most important freedom we as humans possess– and that is the freedom of life. Something that should never, in any circumstance, be determined by someone or something else.

All I am asking is a serious consideration to receive any of the authorized vaccines that are being offered so far. Research which option may be the best for you, and please, do not read into the misinformation being spread. Talk to your doctor and let them help you make the right decision for you and society. Be a part of something special. Something bigger than yourself, and something that future generations will look back on and think–”Wow, they somehow overcame all of that.”

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