With the rapid spread and mutation of the COVID-19 virus, many experts in the medical field devoted their time to developing a vaccine against the virus. Fortunately, many companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer, with the help and support of the government, have been able to develop the said vaccine.
However, because of the very short duration of the development of the vaccine, many speculations arose about its effectiveness, and most people, especially seniors begin to demand the answer to the question, “Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for seniors?”.
How COVID-19 Vaccines Are Developed
Due to how quickly COVID-19 vaccines are made compared to other types of vaccines, many people doubt their effectiveness and safety. For your enlightenment, here are some facts about the fast development of the vaccine according to experts in the medical field.
- There have already been the available technologies needed for manufacturing vaccines for infectious diseases.
- There have already been records of the genetic information of the virus from the countries that first contracted the virus, which is one reason why they have been able to develop the vaccine earlier than anticipated.
- The testing phase of the vaccine is done simultaneously for quicker data results.
- Vaccine manufacturers have the full support of countries all over the world in terms of volunteers, resources, and technologies.
- Vaccines are already being manufactured right after the approval and authorization of higher officials.
Note: Vaccine manufacturers ensure that they’ve gone through the important steps in ensuring the safety of the vaccine. This includes:
- Careful testing.
- Authorization from the higher-ups.
- Careful monitoring of side effects.
Do I Need To Get Vaccinated?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), senior citizens are one of the categories of the population that have a higher risk of contracting the virus.
Additionally, since seniors are known to have a weaker immune system, unvaccinated seniors may experience more severe symptoms of the virus that requires hospitalization and intensive care. Thus, getting vaccinated is one major step against the COVID-19 virus.
Note: Seniors who have Anaphylaxis or severe allergic reactions to certain medications and vaccine ingredients should not get vaccinated according to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC).
On the other hand, people who are allergic to common allergens, foods, insects, or latex can safely get vaccinated. Talk to your doctor if you’re not sure if getting vaccinated is safe for you.
Possible Side Effects of COVID-19 Vaccine
All COVID-19 vaccines have gone through careful testing and safety review before being approved by WHO. Thus, you don’t have to worry about life-threatening side effects. However, you may experience common and mild side effects including:
- Swelling and pain in the injected part
- Muscle aches
- Fever and child
So far, there are rare cases of severe side effects like Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS). However, if you experience any of the following symptoms after 2-3 weeks of getting vaccinated, report to your doctor immediately.
- Persistent headaches
- Blurred vision
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
- Chest pain
- Swelling in the leg
- Blood clots and bruising near the vaccination area
What COVID-19 Vaccines Are Available in the US?
Listed below are the COVID-19 vaccines that are recommended by CDC and approved by the FDA.
Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna
Both of these are the most recommended vaccines against COVID-19. Part of why they are manufactured quickly is because it is made of the latest mRNA technology, an easier way to develop vaccines for infectious diseases.
This is a type of cell that is dispersed throughout the body to trigger the immune system to respond against the virus.
In terms of side effects, reports said that there are rare cases of myocarditis, or the inflammation of a muscle in the heart but usually clears up on its own after a few days. Other than that, there are no other side effects that might jeopardize one’s health.
Also known as the Jhonson and Jhonson COVID-19 vaccine. Though it showed positive results against the COVID-19 virus, many reports stated that there is a higher risk of developing blood clots or thrombosis in patients.
Fortunately, Janssen can still be used so long as medical aides make people aware of the benefits and risks of the vaccine.
Note: If you prefer the safest way to get vaccinated, the best options would be the mRNA vaccines Pfizer and Moderna, but if you prefer Jenssen, ask your doctor if it is suitable for you.
Where Can I Get Vaccinated?
Since December of 2021, the US government has been distributing vaccines throughout the country. If you want to get vaccinated today, here are several sources you can consider:
- At the local health department
- Your local pharmacist
- Your doctor or the nearest hospital
- At the senior citizen center/agency
Other Safety Precautions Against COVID-19 That You Should Know
Even if you are vaccinated, you should still practice precautions to avoid spreading the virus. Here are several important protocols you should practice at all times.
- Wear a facemask when going to crowded or isolated places.
- Observe social distancing, preferably 6 feet apart.
- Always wash and sanitize your hands.
- Avoid going into crowded places especially if you’re not vaccinated or if you are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, face, and mouth, especially using unwashed hands.
- Disinfect stuff and surfaces that are frequently touched.
- Use tissue or your elbow to cover mouth when sneezing or coughing.
- Lastly, boost your immune system by eating healthily and taking vitamins.
The COVID-19 pandemic had drastically affected our lives both mentally and physically. But with the collaboration and support between countries and nations, manufacturers were been able to create vaccines against the virus in a short amount of time.
Despite many speculations, experts assure the public that these vaccines go through thorough tests to ensure that they’re safe. They also stated that getting vaccinated now is the best way to finally get back on track with the life we had before the pandemic.