Getting vaccination done for COVID-19
Finally both me and my wife managed to get our first shot 💉 of the Moderna type of the vaccine against the COVID-19 disease. In this post I want to explain why we got it, why I’m excited about it and why I hope to encourage you to give it a shot (pun intended) as well. Here’s us after we got ours:
- TL;DR - get vaccinated, it’s the right thing to do!
- mRNA vaccines and the Mother effing Nature at its best!
- Do your research and get vaccinated!
- Pro tips on getting the vaccine
- How Linus Torvalds, the Linux founder explains vaccines
- Vaccine Q&A - typical questions people anxious about the vaccines ask:
- Q: I feel like I’m part of an experiment as the mRNA vaccine was developed too quickly?
- Q: What’s the deal if I just “wait a little”? Why rush it?
- Q: What if I just get infected and I’ll be done with it. I’m healthy, I’ll be fine, right?
- Q: I think I already had COVID-19 so why get vaccinated?
- Q: What if I get a fever after I get the vaccine and don’t feel well?
- Q: How about the stats?
- Q: I still don’t trust these vaccines, I think they were rushed! I don’t want to take part in an experiment!
- Q: What about kids? Should I vaccinate the kids?
- Q: Now that we’re 9 months vaccinating people, what are the results? What do we know?
- Do it not just for yourself but also for others - get your vaccine!
TL;DR - get vaccinated, it’s the right thing to do!
If you don’t have the time to read this 2,500+ word text, the gist is simple: get vaccinated to protect yourself and others; this will increase herd immunity, reduce possibilities of creating variants of COVID-19; mRNA vaccines are the future of medicine, so don’t be afraid of them; get your kids vaccinated if possible.
I also wrote a short version of this article in Polish 🇵🇱
Long story short:
Getting vaccinated is the next right thing to do!
That’s it. For the details, read (and watch) below:
mRNA vaccines and the Mother effing Nature at its best!
When I saw the below video, I was blown away how the new mRNA vaccines work. They basically inject one (out of 29) types of protein from the COVID-19 into our body, which in turn is prompted to create antibodies for it and remember that this thing is bad.
That’s amazing. How we can stimulate Mother Nature to do its best work. How our body can create antibodies on demand based on the information we give to it:
After watching this video I wanted to get one of these mRNA based vaccines. Other vaccines are good, too. Any vaccine is great.
Do your research and get vaccinated!
What in this day and age completely flabbergasted me is the response of many intelligent people, about why they choose not to get vaccinated.
I mean, why? What’s the deal?
We live in 2021. The access to information is infinite. I believe any smart person can do their own research to see if vaccines are good, if these vaccines were properly researched, if the mRNA technology is valid enough. I don’t have to convince you and I won’t. Do your research. Don’t depend on alarmist information you see on social media but just spend 15 minutes researching the subject. Or just keep reading this article, there are more sources below.
If you don’t believe me, take John Oliver’s word for it, he can explain things like no other:
Pro tips on getting the vaccine
If you can, get an appointment. In Poland we have a very good online system where you can log in with your trusted profile and just choose a place, date, time and vaccine - and get an appointment.
Once it’s scheduled, 2 hours before the appointment get 650 mg or 1g of paracetamol so that you don’t feel the effect of the vaccine too much.
We did it and it worked. We felt fine after. Just the arm muscle was pretty sore for a couple of days. Nothing else.
Good luck. Do your research. Be smart. Choose health. Let’s get this pandemic over together.
And if you’re catholic like me, listen to pope Francis.
How Linus Torvalds, the Linux founder explains vaccines
Update June 11, 2021, John Gruber linked to this mailing list written by the founder of Linux, you know, the operating system that’s basically on all of the servers on the Internet.
Please read his entire response to an anti-vaxxer
But here are the best bits explaining the vaccine:
Just for your edification in case you are actually willing to be educated: mRNA doesn’t change your genetic sequence in any way. It is the exact same intermediate - and temporary - kind of material that your cells generate internally all the time as part of your normal cell processes, and all that the mRNA vaccines do is to add a dose their own specialized sequence that then makes your normal cell machinery generate that spike protein so that your body learns how to recognize it.
He very nicely explains what the video above explained also well about the mRNA technology:
The half-life of mRNA is a few hours. Any injected mRNA will be all gone from your body in a day or two. It doesn’t change anything long-term, except for that natural “your body now knows how to recognize and fight off a new foreign protein” (which then tends to fade over time too, but lasts a lot longer than a few days). And yes, while your body learns to fight off that foreign material, you may feel like shit for a while. That’s normal, and it’s your natural response to your cells spending resources on learning how to deal with the new threat.
He also highlights the best parts about the safety of mRNA vaccines:
And of the vaccines, the mRNA ones are the most modern, and the most targeted - exactly because they do not need to have any of the other genetic material that you traditionally have in a vaccine (ie no need for basically the whole - if weakened - bacterial or virus genetic material). So the mRNA vaccines actually have less of that foreign material in them than traditional vaccines do. And a lot less than the very real and actual COVID-19 virus that is spreading in your neighborhood.
Again, read his entire email it’s really good
Vaccine Q&A - typical questions people anxious about the vaccines ask:
Q: I feel like I’m part of an experiment as the mRNA vaccine was developed too quickly?
A: Please read about this vaccine again. All vaccines are great and have saved millions of people in the world, but these are modern and are really better:
RNA vaccines offer specific advantages over traditional protein vaccines. Because RNA vaccines are not constructed from an active pathogen (or even an inactivated pathogen), they are non-infectious. In contrast, traditional vaccines require the production of pathogens, which, if done at high volumes, could increase the risks of localized outbreaks of the virus at the production facility.
Q: What’s the deal if I just “wait a little”? Why rush it?
A: Because of one thing - Herd immunity!
Just read this article published by the University of Columbia, NY. Especially this part:
WHY IS HERD IMMUNITY IMPORTANT? While it may be unrealistic to assume every individual in a population is able to get vaccinated, those outstanding individuals will then rely on herd immunity to avoid contracting a virus. Reasons for not receiving a vaccination include: People with weak immune systems, People that are going through chemotherapy treatments, Newborn babies and elderly people, People living with HIV and (unfortunately) those who refuse vaccination… In every community, you will find individuals who fall under the above categories, making herd immunity that much more important. These people then depend on others getting vaccinated in order to be indirectly protected by them.
Basically, if you’re healthy and eligible for a vaccine, you should get it. Not just for yoruself, but also for others around you. Please don’t be selfish here - everyone needs to do their part!
Q: What if I just get infected and I’ll be done with it. I’m healthy, I’ll be fine, right?
A: Maybe you will, maybe you won’t. I personally know people in their thirties who got the virus and ended up in the hospital. Some of them died! Some of them survived but still months later had respitory issues and fatigue. And they were not obese, had no underlying conditions they knew of, nothing like that. Do you really want to risk it?
One of my close friends in his thirties had COVID-19 and didn’t know about it, but after a routine check-up he discovered he was suffering quite severe heart problems. He did his tests and yes, he had the disease and it caused serious harm to his heart which he needs to treat now. Again, do you want to risk it?
After years of vaccines we know the long term effects of them. And we don’t know the long-term effects of COVID-19. Do you want to find out the hard way?
BTW, if you have kids, did you get them vaccinated as per vaccination calendar? Just google the diseases your kids will never have thanks to the miracle of modern medicine and vaccination. These would be really bad diseases. Like Polio or Measles. Now add COVID-19 to that.
Q: I think I already had COVID-19 so why get vaccinated?
A: The experts say it’s important:
“Even though you’ve had COVID-19, it’s still very important for you to get the vaccine,” Dr. Englund says. “We know that a small number of people can get covid-19 a second time.” She says even if you haven’t had COVID-19 a second time, it’s important you rev up your immune system in case you do see it again. And the vaccine will help you do that.
Q: What if I get a fever after I get the vaccine and don’t feel well?
A: This is your body creating anti-bodies. It’s your body working overtime so it might get fever. You might feel bad. It all depends. But if you really feel bad after getting the vaccine, just think how you’d feel if you really did get hit by the virus.
Q: How about the stats?
Just look at the USA stats: 966 people died after getting the vaccine but not necessarily because of it. After 90 Million vaccines being delivered.
Vaccine odds: 0.001%
On the other hand after 33 Million cases, more than 600,000 people died in the USA. And we still don’t know how many millions more will have long-term serious health effects after COVID-19.
COVID-19 odds: 1.800%
Q: I still don’t trust these vaccines, I think they were rushed! I don’t want to take part in an experiment!
The only part that was rushed was on the administrative side. The vaccines were developed quickly because we have much newer technology than before. Especially the above-mentioned mRNA technology. There were tests. There were trials. You’re not a part of any experiment.
Why did they expedite all the administrative routes to get the vaccines out? Because people were dying!
We know how vaccines work. We know the long-term effects of vaccines and how they effectively saved us from some really awful diseases.
What we don’t know are the long-term effects of this novel Coronavirus. Do you want to be a part of a COVID-19 virus experiment?
Update June 23, 2021, about getting kids vaccinated:
Q: What about kids? Should I vaccinate the kids?
Well, next month I’m going to get my 12-year young daughter vaccinated. Here’s a great NY-times recap on kids’ vaccination.
Some highlights that explain my points above about the mRNA technology:
Dr. Paul Offit, director of the vaccine education center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel, notes that while mRNA vaccines are new, mRNA molecules occur naturally throughout the human body.
Turns out that mRNA is really Mother Effing Nature at its best:
“Every child in their cells has about 200,000 copies of messenger RNA,” said Dr. Offit. “Every cell in your body has these molecules which are making proteins and enzymes so you can continue to live. Although the technology is new for a vaccine, it’s not like it’s a molecule we haven’t seen before. I understand the anxiety, but it’s no different than when you make insulin or hemoglobin or albumin or any of the other proteins your body makes.”
Here’s how it works:
When your child gets the Pfizer shot in the arm, the injection includes the messenger molecule, which is packaged in an oily bubble that fuses to a cell. The cell then uses the mRNA molecule as a set of instructions to make something called a “spike protein,” which protrudes from the cell’s surface. (The surface of the coronavirus is covered with similar spikes.) A child’s immune system quickly recognizes that the spike protein is a foreign invader, and begins attacking it. The vaccine has essentially trained the immune system to recognize and attack the spike. Now, if your child ever comes into contact with the actual coronavirus, their immune system has learned how to handle it…
When they did studies, children vaccinated never got ill:
The study enrolled 2,260 participants ages 12 to 15. Of those children, 1,131 received the vaccine (two shots, given three weeks apart) and 1,129 received saline placebo shots. The vaccine worked even better in children than it does in adults. No children in the vaccine group got sick with Covid-19, while 18 children in the placebo group became ill.
The mRNA vaccine does it jobs and disappears:
One reassuring fact about the mRNA vaccines is that the molecule is destroyed by the cell once it completes its mission, so it doesn’t stay in the body. “This is one of the better technologies if you’re worried about something staying in your child’s body,” said Dr. Ibukun C. Kalu, a professor of pediatrics at Duke University. “There’s no way it can become stored in the DNA or trigger some long term cascade that will impact a child’s reproductive organs.”
Seriously, there’s nothing to worry about:
Another common worry among parents is the effect of a new drug or vaccine on brain development. Dr. Offit noted that the body has a blood-brain barrier that prevents most proteins from entering the brain. “Your brain is an immunologically protected site,” he said.
The alternative is much worse - death and multiple organ failures:
Nearly four million children in the United States have tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, and more than 300 have died. This past winter, doctors reported growing numbers of patients with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C, a condition linked to Covid which can affect multiple organs, including the heart.
Apparently, after a second dose of the vaccine, the kids develop a heart muscle inflammation called myocarditis, so some vaccine experts having second thoughts about rushing to inoculate kids because of it, but as it turns out, after the vaccine, the condition is light and easily controllable:
At Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, pediatric cardiologist Dr. Jodie Votava-Smith has seen the wreckage of COVID-19 firsthand, and she has no doubts about the value of vaccinating kids. In the last month, she has helped treat a patient who developed myocarditis after a dose of vaccine, she said. The child’s symptoms were mild and readily treated with ibuprofen.
So yes, the heart may be a little affected, but it’s not even in the same ballpark as above-mentioned MISC condition, which affects children that get COVID. They need to get to hospital for a long time then:
COVID-19’s toll on some children also lingers well beyond a bout of infection. As of mid-May, at least 4,018 in the U.S. have developed a condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MISC, that frequently appears four to six weeks after a child has cleared his or her infection and typically requires hospitalization.
And if you had any doubts if the COVID-19 virus is deadly with children, here goes the gloomy part:
Currently about 24 percent of the Covid cases in the United States are in young children, said Dr. Offit. He notes that more American children have died from Covid during the pandemic than die annually from other illnesses for which children are regularly vaccinated. About 75 to 150 children in the United States die of flu each year, he said, and about 100 children die of chickenpox.
If you’re a parent, read the entire article about getting kids vaccinated.
Update on Monday, July 5
Inspired by all this we decided to get my daughter vaccinated and she just got her first shot of Pfizer vaccine and we got our second shots of Moderna.
Another update also from The New York Times: Covid Is a Greater Risk to Young People Than the Vaccines:
Rather than play roulette with variants over the next several years, we can safely end this crisis by accepting an increased yet still exceedingly small risk of side effects that have not been seen to cause medium-term problems, let alone long-term ones.
To sum it up (emphasis mine):
Bad things inevitably happen to a small number of people after any vaccination, a few caused by the vaccines, but most not. The risk of vaccination must be compared against the risk of the disease that a vaccine prevents, not against zero risk. The choice is between getting vaccinated against Covid-19 and eventually getting it. Given the current data, the conclusion is clear: The virus is more dangerous.
Update Wednesday, 28 July 2021:
Q: Now that we’re 9 months vaccinating people, what are the results? What do we know?
The Delta variant is spreading like crazy and mostly people who didn’t get vaccinated suffer from it. And we’ve got more stats:
Texas has seen nearly 9,000 COVID-19 deaths since February. All but 43 were unvaccinated people.
Really, you don’t need to understand much of mathematics to get this one - if you get a vaccine and the virus somehow still attacks you hard, your odds of dying are 0.5%, if you don’t get vaccinated, the virus will kill you:
Of the 8,787 people who have died in Texas due to COVID-19 since early February, at least 43 were fully vaccinated, the Texas Department of State Health Services said. That means 99.5% of people who died due to COVID-19 in Texas from Feb. 8 to July 14 were unvaccinated, while 0.5% were the result of “breakthrough infections,” which DSHS defines as people who contracted the virus two weeks after being fully vaccinated.
Now the sad part - if these people were vaccinated, how many of these 9000 would die? 50? 100? Maybe. But definitely not 90 times as much! These people didn’t have to die!
Just get the vaccine before it’s literally too late:
Dr. Brytney Cobia said Monday that all but one of her COVID patients in Alabama did not receive the vaccine. The vaccinated patient, she said, just needed a little oxygen and is expected to fully recover. Some of the others are dying. “I’m admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections,” wrote Cobia, a hospitalist at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, in an emotional Facebook post Sunday. “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.”
And if you need an alternative explanation of why getting a vaccine is like using a seatbelt in a car, listen to this guy break it down for you.
Do it not just for yourself but also for others - get your vaccine!
There, I did the research for you. If you’re still unsure, please click on all the links I provided above and watch the videos I included. And after that do your own research if you’re still not convinced. Focus on what’s really factually correct. Don’t believe in fake news.
Thanks for doing your part! 💉💪