Here are some facts about the two vaccinations available to us currently in the U.S.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations are mRNA vaccines. They help our body make a blueprint of one of the spikes in the COVID protein. This blue-printed spike triggers an immune response that allows us to fight off COVID if we should get it.
The vaccines ARE NOT live. They cannot cause a COVID infection. Once our bodies make the blueprint of the spike, the mRNA quickly breaks down. It has NO effect on our DNA (does not become a permanent part of our cell make-up).
The vaccines became available quickly for a few reasons.
- The need to stop COVID spread.
- Steps to study, develop, approve, and distribute the vaccine took place simultaneously. However, no steps were skipped.
- The FDA studies regarding safety and effectiveness of the vaccines under emergency use authorization was swift and efficient.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are roughly 95% effective against COVID after 2 injections. The second Pfizer vaccine should be received 3 weeks after the first (approximately 21 days after). The second Moderna vaccine should be received 4 weeks after the first (approximately 28 days after).
Expect mild effects after the injections including injection site soreness/mild swelling; fatigue; mild fever; headache; body aches. Side effects seem to be more intense after the second injection. This means your immune system is working. Use over-the-counter analgesics such as Tylenol or Motrin as needed. Side effects generally last a couple days.
Make sure to keep your immunization record somewhere safe. You may need it down the road. Continue to follow precautions such as masking and social distancing. The scientists still need time to determine how long the vaccines will protect us and whether they will work against virus mutations.
I got my vaccinations. I hope you consider getting yours. Good luck and be safe!