The world is seeing a dim, but visible light at the end of the long COVID-19 pandemic tunnel. Vaccines for the virus are now available for eligible individuals in phase 1a and phase 1b groups. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 92 million doses have been administered to Americans.
But, how has the vaccine been affecting those fortunate enough to have received it already? Some individuals have barely felt any discomfort, while others have been left bedridden.
James Faraci, a senior biomedical sciences and biochemistry major, received his first Pfizer dose Dec. 19. He then received his final dose Jan. 9. Luckily for him, receiving the vaccine was relatively easy, as he works in the emergency department in the Samaritan Hospital in Troy, N.Y. Hospital staff were able to vaccinate him right on their grounds.
“At the time I got it there was only I think like 8,000 people vaccinated across the country so there wasn’t much to go off of,” Faraci said.
Faraci was a little surprised after his second dose when he experienced a 101 degree fever, nausea, vomiting, achiness and a lack of energy. He hadn’t had any other immune responses to other vaccines in the past.
Despite his immune response, he feels good about having the vaccine now.
“I feel a lot more confident. I was able to go into work and not be as scared to enter rooms with COVID patients and then have to come home to my somewhat elderly parents and family members. It was a big sigh of relief and a good step forward,” Faraci said.
Emma Bryant, a sophomore nursing major, shares this optimistic feeling.
“I feel a little better about it. I’m excited to see what the future holds, since it has just been kind of COVID related for the past year. So, it gives me hope for the future,” Bryant said.
Bryant is scheduled to receive her second dose of the Moderna vaccine on March 11. After getting the first dose at the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital where she works toward her nursing degree, she experienced the “COVID rash” or “COVID arm.” The CDC said this rash located on the arm where the shot was administered shouldn’t prevent one from getting the second dose.
Both youth and adults alike want to be out of the current situation we are in. Now that younger individuals are beginning to get vaccinated, it has been interesting to see how they react to the vaccine compared to adults.
Scott Reznick, an assistant professor in the English department, received the last of his Pfizer vaccine Feb. 11. The only symptom he experienced was a mildly sore arm after his first dose. He brought up a reasonable concern regarding equity distribution of the vaccine, which made him a little hesitant to get it. But ultimately, he followed the CDC guidelines of getting the vaccine when he was given the opportunity to.
“I feel blessed in some ways to have been able to get it,” Reznick said.
Getting vaccinated is an opportunity everyone should jump at once they are given the chance, especially now.
“This is an unprecedented thing that we are facing and vaccines have worked to eradicate disease in the past,” Reznick said. “It seems to me a moral and social responsibility to care for the well-being and health of your fellow citizens and human beings.”
Students who are eligible can register to receive their vaccine at a clinic hosted by the Clinton County Health Department, located in Clinton Community College Gymnasium.