Death as a Side Effect: Should You Get the COVID-19 Vaccine? 

Covid-19 offers us a great opportunity for individual and collective recession. It is a time to go back to the drawing board and rewrite the next phase of our existence. The upcoming generation has to read about how we fought this pandemic with or without vaccines in order to overcome similar situations during their times.” – Olawale Daniel

A healthy 56-year-old Florida physician died within weeks of getting the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. In Norway, 29 people over the age of 75 died within days of getting the shot. Other serious side effects reported to date include 4 cases of Bell’s palsy (partial facial paralysis) and several cases of anaphylaxis (a severe and sometimes deadly allergic reaction to a substance, drug, or food). These reports certainly cause for concern.

Despite this news, with the number of deaths from COVID-19 at an all-time high worldwide and a vaccine offers real hope after nearly a year-long pandemic. A hope that we can one day go back to the way things were thanks to herd immunity.

Herd immunity occurs when a high proportion of people become immune to a disease. Achievable through prior infection with an organism responsible for illness or vaccination. Thus, by making its spread amongst people less probable.  At this time, the proportion of the population that must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to begin inducing herd immunity is unknown. 

About Vaccines

A vaccine is a type of drug. It includes the same germs that make us sick. For instance, the measles vaccine contains the measles virus. But the germs have either been killed or made weak so that they do not make us sick. A vaccine works by copying the infectious organism, thereby encouraging the body’s immune system to build a defense mechanism against the organism without causing the disease.

Like all drugs, there are pros and cons. No vaccine is 100% effective for disease prevention and, none is 100% safe for all people. There is an expectation that some people will react to a vaccine.

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. – Marie Curie

History of  Vaccines

Vaccines began with an extensive history of preventable disease in man, beginning with smallpox. Vaccination is one of the most recognized achievements in the field of public health. Regrettably, past unethical public health research, including the infamous Tuskegee study, among many others, has impacted trust in medical innovations to date. The data from the Tuskegee study has changed the way research in public health is done. 

Today, government-funded human studies:

1. Are reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB)
2. Include research disclosure rules
3. Require researchers to obtain voluntary and informed consent from all study participants

Guidelines for Prevention of COVID-19 Spread Before/After Vaccination

Until scientists find out more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide and for how long. We should continue to:

● Put on a mask
● Stay 6 feet or more away from everyone else
● Avoid crowds
● Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
● Use a hand sanitizer that contains 60% or more alcohol
● Follow CDC travel tips
● Follow post-COVID-19 exposure and quarantine guidelines
● Follow all recommended workplace and safety guidelines

Humanity has but three great enemies: fever, famine, and war; of these by far the greatest, by far the most terrible, is fever.William Osler

The Verdict

I believe that people should and have a right to be skeptical. We ought to ask questions about everything we put in your body. However, there has been no cause-effect link found between the drug and the deaths. Nor with the four cases of Bell’s palsy. Taking into account the protective history of vaccines, the benefits of their protection may outweigh the risks.

Even so, if there are concerns, or you are an individual with a history of illness or allergies, ask questions. Inquire on the component of each drug before taking them. Now, with all the information you have. And on the assumption that the new drugs approved are with no political motivation and with high ethical standards, would you take the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Leave your comments below.

Death as a Side Effect: Should You Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?  was written by Ify Albert. A Public Health Scientist, a Veterinarian, and a subject matter expert, in what it really takes to achieve overall health and wellness outcomes. 

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