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    February 28, 2021
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Should I Get the Coronavirus Vaccine When It's Available to Me? Jeffrey Holzberg, MD MSc FAAP Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. Elena is siting at her desk, reading for the third time an email asking whether she will get the COVID vaccine or not. She usually does not get vaccines that are not required, nervous about the short- and long term side effects. Just the idea of getting the COVID-19 vaccine causes her stomach to turn Yet she also understands how much coronavirus has impacted the country. her towen, and even ber family. Two weeks ago, her grandmother died from complications of coronavirus. Her father got sick as welL requiring oxygen in the hospital and now receives physical therapy at home. Fortunately, her two daughters had only mild symptoms with the illness. As a medical assistant with Chirkahua Community Health Centers, she was eligible to receive some of the carliest vaccines in the state and now has to make a decision. While staring at her computer screen. her heart races with fear as she remembers Facebook posts, text messages between friends, and conversations with her family. One of her friends tesponded that "I dee't know what's going to happen to me if I get the vaccine. I saw that someone on the internet passed out afterwards. What if that happens to me!" Her aunt told her "1 don't want to get coronavirus put in my arm. What if I get sick with the virus?" Elena smiles with embarrassment about some of these fears as she squirnts in her seat. Her job is to give vaccines every day to chikdren and she has never seen a serious reaction. She clearly understands, despite everything on Facebook, that no microchip will be injected into her arm. She also knows that she cannot get coronavirus from the vaccine. This is impossible. Despite confusion around the new MRNA vaccine, she knows that it does not contain coronavirus inside. Just like all vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine works by giving the body instructions on how to recognize the coronavirus so that if she gets exposed, she can fight it off. This is what makes vaccines such poswerful medicine - unlike most medicines, which treat or cure discases, vaccines prevent them. In school, she learned that it is very noemal to have side effects from a vaccine. This is because vaccines work by activating your immune system to process, remember, and protect your body - exactly like if you were exposed to the infection but without having to get sick. This process causes side eflects like tiredness and fevers, which are actually good signs that the immune system is working well and the vaccine is doing its job. If her grandmother had gotten vaccinated before catching coronavirus, she would probably still be alive. If her father had gotten vaccinated, he would not need physical therapy for the effect of coronavirus on his muscles. The vaccine was shown to be up to 95 effective in grandmother had discase. But the vaccine was not available in November. Due to limited quantity, the vaccine was rolled out in late December 2020, First it was only available in Arizona to healthcare workers, emergency medical servkes, and long-term care residents and staff. Starting in January 2021, it became available for non-bealthcare essential workers (like teachers and law enforcentent) and people over 65 years of age. preventing illness with coronavirus after being exposed. And her health issues that put her at high risk, including obesity and heart Elena's fears were about side etfects, however. What side effects would she, her father, or her grandmother get if they received the vaccine? In January 2021. Chiricahua Community Health Centers surveyed 188 staff members (anonymously) about their experience getting the coronavirus vaccine. Results showed that 19 out of 20 people did not have any symptoms after the Jed day, Nearly everyone (92) reported discomfort at the injection site, half (52) experienced fatigue or tiredness, around I of 3 recipients experienced headache or muscle pains, and only I of 8 people had fevers. Of the 188 recipients, only one had fever after the 2nd day and no one had a serious allergic reaction. These are similar to rates reported in the large vaccination trials where tens of thousands of adults over age 16 received the vaccine. The most serious adverse events occurred in a few patients often with a known history of severe allergies (dificulty breathing and/ or mouth swelling needing an EpiPen) who also had an allergic reaction to the vaccine. The ringing of the phone at her desk jolts Elena away from her thoughts, She takes the heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation for her next patient - a six year-old boy with runny nose and cough. He is here with his grandmother. After informing the doctor that the patient is ready, she returns to her computer. "Sure, l'm scared." she thinks. "but I'm more scared of coronavirus. Vaccination is our way out of this mess." She presses reply to the email, typing the words "yes, I will get vaccinated." She takes a breath, pauses, and then presses send. "This article was written by Jeffrey Holeberg MD MSc FAAP, pediatrician at Chiricahua Community Heulth Centers, Inc. Names in the article have been changed for privacy. For more information on she COVID-19 vaccine, including facts e myths, please visit www.ade.gowicoronavirus/2019.ncowvuccinesfacts.html For inforamation on getting the coronavirus vaccine in Arizona, visit azhealth gowfindvaccine. OCHIRICAHUA COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS, INC. HEALTH FOR ALL Should I Get the Coronavirus Vaccine When It's Available to Me? Jeffrey Holzberg, MD MSc FAAP Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. Elena is siting at her desk, reading for the third time an email asking whether she will get the COVID vaccine or not. She usually does not get vaccines that are not required, nervous about the short- and long term side effects. Just the idea of getting the COVID-19 vaccine causes her stomach to turn Yet she also understands how much coronavirus has impacted the country. her towen, and even ber family. Two weeks ago, her grandmother died from complications of coronavirus. Her father got sick as welL requiring oxygen in the hospital and now receives physical therapy at home. Fortunately, her two daughters had only mild symptoms with the illness. As a medical assistant with Chirkahua Community Health Centers, she was eligible to receive some of the carliest vaccines in the state and now has to make a decision. While staring at her computer screen. her heart races with fear as she remembers Facebook posts, text messages between friends, and conversations with her family. One of her friends tesponded that "I dee't know what's going to happen to me if I get the vaccine. I saw that someone on the internet passed out afterwards. What if that happens to me!" Her aunt told her "1 don't want to get coronavirus put in my arm. What if I get sick with the virus?" Elena smiles with embarrassment about some of these fears as she squirnts in her seat. Her job is to give vaccines every day to chikdren and she has never seen a serious reaction. She clearly understands, despite everything on Facebook, that no microchip will be injected into her arm. She also knows that she cannot get coronavirus from the vaccine. This is impossible. Despite confusion around the new MRNA vaccine, she knows that it does not contain coronavirus inside. Just like all vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine works by giving the body instructions on how to recognize the coronavirus so that if she gets exposed, she can fight it off. This is what makes vaccines such poswerful medicine - unlike most medicines, which treat or cure discases, vaccines prevent them. In school, she learned that it is very noemal to have side effects from a vaccine. This is because vaccines work by activating your immune system to process, remember, and protect your body - exactly like if you were exposed to the infection but without having to get sick. This process causes side eflects like tiredness and fevers, which are actually good signs that the immune system is working well and the vaccine is doing its job. If her grandmother had gotten vaccinated before catching coronavirus, she would probably still be alive. If her father had gotten vaccinated, he would not need physical therapy for the effect of coronavirus on his muscles. The vaccine was shown to be up to 95 effective in grandmother had discase. But the vaccine was not available in November. Due to limited quantity, the vaccine was rolled out in late December 2020, First it was only available in Arizona to healthcare workers, emergency medical servkes, and long-term care residents and staff. Starting in January 2021, it became available for non-bealthcare essential workers (like teachers and law enforcentent) and people over 65 years of age. preventing illness with coronavirus after being exposed. And her health issues that put her at high risk, including obesity and heart Elena's fears were about side etfects, however. What side effects would she, her father, or her grandmother get if they received the vaccine? In January 2021. Chiricahua Community Health Centers surveyed 188 staff members (anonymously) about their experience getting the coronavirus vaccine. Results showed that 19 out of 20 people did not have any symptoms after the Jed day, Nearly everyone (92) reported discomfort at the injection site, half (52) experienced fatigue or tiredness, around I of 3 recipients experienced headache or muscle pains, and only I of 8 people had fevers. Of the 188 recipients, only one had fever after the 2nd day and no one had a serious allergic reaction. These are similar to rates reported in the large vaccination trials where tens of thousands of adults over age 16 received the vaccine. The most serious adverse events occurred in a few patients often with a known history of severe allergies (dificulty breathing and/ or mouth swelling needing an EpiPen) who also had an allergic reaction to the vaccine. The ringing of the phone at her desk jolts Elena away from her thoughts, She takes the heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation for her next patient - a six year-old boy with runny nose and cough. He is here with his grandmother. After informing the doctor that the patient is ready, she returns to her computer. "Sure, l'm scared." she thinks. "but I'm more scared of coronavirus. Vaccination is our way out of this mess." She presses reply to the email, typing the words "yes, I will get vaccinated." She takes a breath, pauses, and then presses send. "This article was written by Jeffrey Holeberg MD MSc FAAP, pediatrician at Chiricahua Community Heulth Centers, Inc. Names in the article have been changed for privacy. For more information on she COVID-19 vaccine, including facts e myths, please visit www.ade.gowicoronavirus/2019.ncowvuccinesfacts.html For inforamation on getting the coronavirus vaccine in Arizona, visit azhealth gowfindvaccine. OCHIRICAHUA COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS, INC. HEALTH FOR ALL