Chapter 4: Receiving the vaccine
March 13, 2021
Both Lynch and Ryan have currently received (or are scheduled to receive) both doses of the vaccine. Lynch’s experience receiving the vaccine was positive, and she describes symptoms such as headache and body aches the next day. Nurse Ryan says that’s a good sign.
“I am about to go get my second dose today, and I am expecting my body to have a response,” Ryan said. “This is good news. It means that my body will ‘know the virus enemy’ and attack it. I expect to have a fever, chills, and not feel very well tomorrow. And I’ll be good to go after that.”
The “negative” response that most recipients of the vaccine are reporting is a physical manifestation of one’s body fighting off a disease and creating immunity.
This “community immunity” has a direct impact on students.
“As more and more people get the vaccine, less people will get the virus, so less spread to others,” Ryan said. “You’ve heard the term ‘herd immunity, and that is when enough people get some immune response to the virus, either by having had COVID-19, or from the vaccine. However, this takes a long time. The vaccine is the step in the right direction. If everyone who can gets vaccinated, then those who can’t (children) will be protected.”
Just as Ryan says, this process will take time. It does, however, bring hope.
“I am hopeful for a world wide distribution of vaccines,” Ryan said. “I am helping with the local response, but until we can get a handle on this, world wide, we won’t be safe. There is talk about variants, or mutations, and that is something that all viruses do. It’s just a matter of who’s smarter: humans or viruses. We have the capability because this is what happens with the flu vaccine every year. We have to adjust for mutations. And that is just going to take time to see what this virus does and how the vaccines will fight it. There are hundreds of vaccines being developed for this very thing. And if the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is effective and widely distributed, we have a real potential of getting this under control.”