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Covid-19 Vaccine: Here’s What You Need To Know

Living in a post-COVID world now seems like a possibility. With the state of Utah’s recent announcement, people 16 and older will now be able to get vaccinated starting March 24th, 2021. At the moment, 22% of the U.S population has received at least one dose of the approved vaccines but in order to go back to normal life sooner than later, that number has to increase. As we continue to learn more about Coronavirus and its effects, many have been misinformed on the vaccination process and how it actually works. From conspiracy theories to full-on lies, here’s what you should know about the current vaccination process and why you should ultimately get vaccinated. 

Currently, less than half of Utah has received their first dose of a covid vaccine, which is actually pretty low compared to most of the United States. In comparison to bordering states, Arizona is at 24% while New Mexico is at 33%. Many factors including population and vaccine rollout have much to do with our low numbers but with the state widening the pool of Utah residents eligible for the vaccination, our numbers should go up in the next month or so.


globe with mask
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Presently, the United States has approved three vaccines for use in the country: Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson. Here’s a quick overview of the current options available. 


The second vaccine to be approved by the FDA is 94.1% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 after receiving both doses (2). Administered as a shot in the upper part of the arm, it contains no eggs, preservatives, or latex. After receiving the first dose, one must wait at least 28 days to receive the second and last dose. The Moderna option is also only available to those 18 and older.


The FDA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine back in December. Having an efficiency rate of 95%, this vaccine is available to anyone 16 or older. It is also administered as a shot on the upper arm and has no eggs, preservatives, or latex in it. Different from the Moderna vaccine, one must wait 21 days for the second dose.

Johnson & Johnson

Most recently approved, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has become a popular option due to being a one-dose shot. It had an efficacy of 66.3% in clinical trials at preventing COVID-19. Differing from the other two, it has also been tested against super contagious new strains that have started appearing around the world. One must be 18 or older for this vaccine. 


COVID Vaccine
Photo by Daniel Schludi from Unsplash

With the research of all three vaccines, it’s stressed that if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccines you should not receive the vaccine. As for those who are able to receive it, you should still wear a mask, social distance, and keep practicing all other covid precautions. There are a few side effects that have a possibility of occurring after your first dose, including tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea. This is normal and should only last a few days. 

If you’re wondering which option is best for you, any of them are. The vaccine that’s best for you is the vaccine that’s available to you.

With anything that’s unknown or new, misconceptions and lies can come with it. Not surprisingly, Coronavirus and the vaccine were not excused from this. Here are a few false statements that you should not believe when it comes to the vaccine.


1. “The vaccine changes your DNA”.

Not only is this wrong, but it’s also impossible. Due to it being an mRNA vaccine, it creates a copy of a natural chemical called messenger RNA, which in turn produces an immune response. AAFP states that “mRNA vaccines work in the cell’s cytoplasm and never enter the cell nucleus, where the DNA, your genetic material, lives.


2. “You can get Covid from getting the vaccine”.

None of the current FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines actually contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. Because of this, whichever vaccine you receive will not make you sick with COVID-19. A vaccine is used as protection against the virus, you cannot be infected.


3. “You can die from getting the vaccine”.

Although people have died after receiving the vaccine, it has been found that these deaths have no link to the vaccine. Due to the ingredients in the vaccine, it is possible for someone to have an allergic reaction but most will occur 15-30 minutes following immunization. If you have a severe reaction after those 30 minutes, it is recommended you visit a doctor immediately. 


4. “I already had Covid-19 so I don’t need to get vaccinated”.

Even if you’ve had covid, it’s highly recommended to still get vaccinated. Many have already been reinfected months after first testing positive so it is possible to get covid more than once. Currently, studies have shown that immunity can last up to six months and when one is fully vaccinated, the body will be stronger and have better protection against the virus. It will also reduce the possibility of spreading the virus as easily.

A woman having her blood drawn
Photo by Obi Onyeador from Unsplash

It’s been more than a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) first declared Coronavirus a pandemic. Since then, there have been both societal and economic impacts on our country that have been devastating. It’s shown us that we should care about life and the protection of our family, friends, and everyone else around us. The vaccine is our first way out of this pandemic. It won’t make you immune to the virus but on the chance that one is infected after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, they’re less likely to spread it to others and even better, less likely to succumb to the virus or have to stay in the ICU. Be more considerate of others and get your vaccine as soon as possible. 


President of Her Campus Utah and Senior at the University of Utah.
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