It’s only February but multiple COVID-19 vaccines are already entering the market. Two have been approved for general distribution in the U.S., while three are entering the final stages of clinical trials. At the rate we’re going, a nationwide rollout of the first and second doses before the year ends is no longer a pipe dream.
Unfortunately, many individuals—including senior citizens—are still skeptical about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. As of the first quarter of 2021, 1/3 of the general U.S. population state that they’re on the fence about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
The reason for rejecting the COVID-19 vaccine varies on a case-by-case basis. Some refuse to get vaccinated because of their political preferences—as evident by the fact that one in four republicans “definitely do not want” to get vaccinated. Meanwhile, others are simply worried about the vaccine’s safety and efficacy.
Now, considering all these reasons, whether it’s for political or personal purposes, people will reject the vaccine if they doubt its safety and believe that it will do more harm than good. The common denominator behind all these is fear. And the only way to get rid of the people’s fear is through proper education and factual news reports.
To make things easier for our senior readers, we’ve compiled all the most important data and news reports regarding the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine for aging individuals. This article will be as objective as possible. We’ll gather records pertaining to both the positive and possibly harmful side effects of the vaccine on seniors.
The Possible Side Effects of COVID-19 Vaccine on Seniors
As with any other medicine on the market, the COVID-19 vaccine does have some possible side effects. These include:
The injection site might inflame a bit and lead to some arm pain and swelling. This should go away in a few days.
Some patients complain of headaches after getting shot with the COVID-19 vaccine. There are many possible causes of this, but the most probable one is that the body is under a certain amount of stress trying to build immunity against a new strain of the virus.
Fever and Chills
To build immunity against the coronavirus, your body needs to be exposed to a certain degree of the virus as well. Don’t worry because this is 100% safe. The fever and chills you feel will go away after a few days and you’ll feel stronger than ever.
Again, the body is building immunity and protection against a new kind of strain. The mere fact that your body was exposed to a certain degree of bacteria and viruses already justifies any tiredness or fatigue you might feel after getting a shot.
Different Ways to Reduce the Risk of Contracting and Spreading the COVID-19 Virus
There are multiple ways to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the absence of a vaccine. If you want to reduce the risk of contraction, make sure you:
Wash Your Hands
Always wash your hands when you go outside, especially after touching high-touch surfaces like railings, counters, and doorknobs. Carry a hand sanitizer around as well.
Wear a Mask
Wearing a face mask when you go out in public places is the single most efficient way to prevent your respiratory droplets from reaching other people. In the same manner, the respiratory individuals of other people won’t pass through your mask.
For maximum efficacy, make sure to wear your mask properly. The filter has to cover both your mouth and your nose to ensure no droplets enter or exit. Also, stick to disposable surgical face masks. Studies show that cloth masks don’t provide the necessary protection we need against the virus.
Remove Outside Shoes
Stop bringing your shoes inside the house. Studies show that more than 440,000 units of bacteria accumulate on the soles of our shoes in the mere span of two weeks, and 90% of that bacteria population stick to the floor.
Just imagine how dirty your floors would be if you walked around the house wearing shoes. That’s why you should make a habit of leaving your shoes at the doorway.
Sanitize Your Belongings
Washing your hands is useless without sanitization. You need to keep your belongings, especially the ones you use most often, clean and germ-free. Make sure to disinfect your phone, jewelry, watch, bracelet, and pen, among others, frequently with disinfecting wipes of rubbing alcohol.
Observe Physical Distancing
You don’t necessarily have to isolate yourself from the rest of the world forever, but you should at least make an effort to practice physical distancing. Don’t touch other people and stay six feet away from them.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine
Does the COVID-19 vaccine make you 100% immune to the virus?
Yes, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 has a 95% efficacy against the COVID-19 virus, this is currently the highest efficacy rate on the market. It’s safe to say that patients who get vaccinated are safe from COVID-19.
However, vaccines don’t magically make you immune right on the spot. After the first dose, you will need at least two weeks before the vaccine takes effect. Similarly, long-term immune protection is only achieved after a second dosage.
That means that if you were infected before the shot, or after the shot but before the vaccine took effect on the cells, you’ll still be at risk of contracting the virus.
Will the vaccines be available to the entire country?
Ideally, the goal is to have at least two doses of the approved and authorized COVID-19 brand to rollout nationwide. Although, things are progressing quite nicely. Both Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine have passed all clinical trials and are currently in the process of mass production.
Do fully recovered COVID-19 patients still need to get vaccinated?
Yes, even fully recovered patients need to get vaccinated. Remember, vaccines don’t just protect you, but rather, they also protect everyone around you. Recovered patients can still carry and transmit the virus through their surroundings.
Plus, even if you develop some kind of immunity against the virus after recovery, there’s no saying when the defense drops and your body becomes at risk of COVID again. It’s best to play it safe.
COVID-19 Side Effects V.S. COVID-19 Virus: Which Should You Be Scared Of
Considering all the aforementioned possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, should seniors still consider getting vaccinated? The answer: yes! The dangers of the COVID-19 virus severely outweigh the very minimal risk associated with the COVID-19 vaccines.
An elderly patient who contracted the COVID-19 virus may go through the following:
Home Quarantine or Basic Hospitalization Treatment
The best possible outcome if you contract the COVID-19 virus is if the symptoms do not progress to the point where you’ll need anything more than basic hospitalization and a home quarantine.
Sadly, however, the overall weakness and fragility of the aging body—combined with any preexisting conditions—often amplifies the negative effects of the COVID-19 virus. There isn’t much chance for an infected senior not to go beyond the milder symptoms.
Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Treatment
Elderly patients who can no longer function, talk, or even breathe properly will be rushed to the ICU. In most cases, the infected patient will already need a respirator just to survive. Unfortunately, senior citizens with weak respiratory systems prone to asthma attacks and infections are more vulnerable to these types of COVID-19 virus symptoms.
The worst thing that may happen to anyone who contracts the COVID-19 virus is death. However, the risk is significantly greater for seniors.
16% of the U.S. population consists of senior citizens, those aged over 65. However, this same population also accounts for a whopping 80% of all the COVID-related deaths that occurred in the past year.
Now, for the big question: should senior citizens get the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available to the general public? 100% yes! Admittedly, there are cases where individuals experienced some minor side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
However, this is perfectly normal. Every other medication on the market poses a few side effects as well. This is a natural response when the body is building immunity against certain diseases.
Plus, the risk of death once you contract the virus is far greater than whatever side effect the vaccine may come with. As we mentioned earlier, seniors are at the greatest risk of experiencing the worst symptoms and outcomes of the COVID virus, so it’s important to protect yourself as soon as possible.
If you’re still uneasy about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, feel free to do more research on the subject. However, we strongly urge strictly to use legitimate sources. The worst thing anyone can do right now is spread false news and hostile propaganda—whether intentionally or by accident—regarding the pandemic.
The General U.S. Population’s Response to the COVID-19 Vaccine
News of the COVID-19 vaccine’s rollout was well-received. However, some 1/3 of the general U.S. population still have doubts about the vaccine’s overall safety and efficacy.
Politics and One’s Stance Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine
Do one’s political beliefs affect his or her stance on the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine? Here’s a report that goes in-depth as to how democrats and republicans are responding to the pandemic and vaccine development.