When you work in healthcare, it seems a bit hypocritical to decline vaccines that allow you to participate in herd immunity (for free) to save your and patients' lives potentially. I admit, as a healthcare worker, I feel bad not getting the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it came out amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. However, there is this slight worry and wariness I have about this then-experimental vaccine that keept me from putting it in my body.
There are good stories and there are bad stories across the internet that people have encountered after they got the then-experimental Covid-19 vaccine which gave rise to The Great Covid Vaccine Controversy. I’m sure side effects are entirely personal and dependent on how strong one’s immune system is at the time of getting the vaccine, but I am still not convinced it is for me.
I felt the pressure at work back in 2021 both from patients and colleagues upon them hearing I declined (or am waiting until then) to get this then-experimental vaccine. Believe it or not, I have been pressured to get it by a provider, and by pressure, I meant talked into getting it.
The information provided in this article is based on my personal health journey and experiences. I am not a medical professional, and the content shared should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
While I have made efforts to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided, I strongly encourage you to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any changes to your health routine or starting any new health practices.
Each individual's health circumstances are unique, and what worked for me may not work for everyone. It is essential to consider your specific health condition, medical history, allergies, and individual needs before implementing any suggestions mentioned in this article.
Any reliance you place on the information provided in this article is at your own risk. I disclaim any liability for any direct, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages arising from the use or misuse of the information presented here.
Remember, the information shared here is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.
What Is Covid-19?
Covid-19 is also known as SARS-Cov-2 and the Wuhan virus. /CO (Corona) Vi (virus) D (disease)/. Nowadays, people refer to it loosely (which I think is a misnomer) as coronavirus. However, there are many types of coronaviruses and Covid-19 is just one of them. It is a novel coronavirus, meaning it is a new virus (seen in humans) and is believed to have originated from an animal and then transferred to a human.
The first case reported of Covid-19 infection in humans was in Wuhan, China on December 2019. Unfortunately, millions have been infected (and many have died) and is still being infected around the globe.
How Does Covid-19 Spread?
- Covid-19 Can Spread via Contact With Surfaces
When infected droplets from an infected person land on surfaces, the virus can survive without its host for hours to days. When someone gets in contact with this infected surface and then touches their mouth or eyes, the virus can then enter the body and infect the new host.
- Covid-19 Can Spread via Respiratory Droplets
According to the CDC website, Covid-19 spreads from person-to-person through close contact (within 6 feet from each other) via respiratory droplets such as when someone sneezes or talks.
- Covid-19 Can Spread via Airborne Droplets
The virus can remain suspended in the air for quite some time too, which makes it airborne at this point. This usually occurs in closed-up spaces such as rooms where there isn’t much ventilation going on.
Why I Declined the Then-Experimental Covid-19 Vaccine
I declined the Covid-19 vaccine because of its previous state: experimental. I am not an anti-vaxxer nor am I against Science (heck, I work in healthcare and I’ve received numerous other vaccines), but when a pandemic gets politicized, you yourself must be curious and wary. There’s something fishy here; I know it, I’m pisces (pun intended).
Based from other people’s horrifying and painful experiences with the vaccine, I would say the benefits of not getting it far outweigh the side effects of getting it. According to Dr. Simone Gold, a board-certified emergency physician, the odds of survival without treatment from Covid-19 is ~99%. What does this mean to me? It means that even without the vaccine, I have a 99% chance of surviving and recovering from the virus. You might say, “Well, what if you become one of the 1% then?” Well, that’s a chance I am willing to take. However, I’d like to point out that 1% is a really low chance given all of our masking and goggling up during these times. This varies by age and drops to 95% if you are aged 70 or older.
At work, I have heard of individual stories from colleagues who took it and the myriad of awful aches and pains they’ve had. ALL (100%) of my co-workers (RNs, doctors, medical assistants, etc.) who took the experimental Covid-19 vaccine had at least some form of adverse effect ranging from a pounding headache to miserable fevers, and sometimes even chills. Below is a list of the side effects they have had. Note: Not all of them had everything in the list.
- Limited range of motion on vaccinated arm due to pain
- Myalgia (one of them described it as if she had been “hit by a truck”)
- Nasal drips/runny nose
In addition to these side effects, there had been a “pause” in the administration of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. This information was released on the CDC website on April 13, 2021. Apparently, 6 women aged between 18-48 have developed a “rare and severe type of blood clot (CDC Website, 2021)” after receiving the said vaccine. Out of the million doses administered, this looks like a very minute number. Still hard pass for me, thanks.
Judging by the myriad of side effects this then-experimental and Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) vaccine, I declined the vaccine not until it was mandated by the governor of Washington State (J. Inslee) with the deadline of October 18, 2021. Meaning to say, you needed to get the first dose of Pfizer not as late as September 13, 2021 and the second dose by October 4,2021. As for the Moderna, the first dose had to be September 6, 2021, and the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine until October 4, 2021. This gave you two full weeks (which is the timeframe considered as “fully vaccinated”) to reach the deadline of October 18, 2021.
Get The Covid Vaccine Or Lose Your Job
Unfortunately, this highly politicized pandemic has brought about coercion in the United States through the Covid vaccine mandate. Hence, I was faced with the verdict of either getting the first Covid vaccine by September 13th 2021 or losing my job by voluntary resignation, or if I do not resign by a certain date, will be served a termination letter by late October 2021. What kind of hypocrisy is that?
It turns out, I was a petty chicken and caved in because of the fear of losing my job. I will be writing a separate article about the undesirable effects the Pfizer Covid vaccine I have experienced, together with the forever-changed life I've had since getting this vaccine and how I'm trying to recuperate.
Yes, masks can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by preventing respiratory droplets from being released into the air. It is recommended to wear masks in public settings, especially when physical distancing is challenging.
Practice good hygiene by washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap is not available. If you are immunocompromised, wear a mask to protect yourself whenever you are in public or in a large crowd.
COVID-19 diagnosis is usually confirmed through laboratory testing, including molecular (PCR) tests or antigen tests. These tests detect the presence of the virus in respiratory samples. There are at-home test kits available that perform rapid testing as well, but are not as reliable as the serum/blood test.
If you have symptoms, it's important to self-isolate, avoid contact with others, and seek medical advice. Contact your healthcare provider or local health department for guidance on testing and appropriate care.
Symptoms typically appear within 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. However, it is possible to transmit the virus even before symptoms develop.
CDC Website. (2021, April 13). Joint CDC and FDA statement on Johnson & Johnson covid-19 vaccine. Retrieved April 14, 2021 from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s0413-JJ-vaccine.html
CDC Website. (2020, September 1). About covid-19. Retrieved February 9, 2021 from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cdcresponse/about-COVID-19.html
Edwards, S. (2021, January 28). Anecdotal experiences: c.v.v. Prezi. Retrieved February 9, 2021 from https://prezi.com/i/gw4zv2c_cwrb/anecdotal-experiences-cvv/
Gold, S. (n.d.). Vaccine information. America’s Frontline Doctors. Retrieved February 9, 2021 from https://www.americasfrontlinedoctors.com/vaccines/