Why you shouldn’t be nervous: Our family’s experience with COVID-19 vaccines (Opinion)
With all the news regarding the pause of New Jersey-based company Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, many are now on edge to get their shot. Look, I get it. But it's also important to think about how headlines and information are presented and shared online, and how it's important to take a step back and really analyze the big picture.
Millions have already received the J&J vaccine with little to no issues, so it's important to take that into consideration when thinking about the overall impact on the population.
With that said, a handful of those in my family have already gotten one of the three vaccines available, along with those who are refusing. I'm sure this might sound like your family as well with one side that are pro-vaccine and the other side anti-vaccine.
Now with New Jersey expanding eligibility to all residents who are 16 or older, I wanted to share with you my family's experiences with taking the COVID-19 vaccine, and the reasons for those who aren't. Overall, you shouldn't be nervous to get it.
Let me start off with myself. I have an underlying health issue that made me eligible early on and, following my doctor's advice, I recently went ahead and got the vaccine.
I received the Pfizer vaccination and experienced very little side effects. The two biggest problems I dealt with included some fatigue throughout the next day and a really sore arm. But aside from that, I felt great.
I also have a family member who's younger than me and works in health care. She also got her vaccine with experiences very similar to mine... primarily fatigue and soreness at first along with a brief low-grade fever, but other than that no major complications.
Two more of my family members who are in their lower 70s have also gotten their vaccines. Both of them received the Moderna vaccine, and once again it's much of the same story.... a sore arm with some aches and fatigue.
Now, I also have family members that refuse to get the vaccine.
One of the reasons for this is simply put: they never got the flu shot and are rarely sick. Another family member, around my age, is considered at high risk of catching COVID-19 due to other health issues and therefore was eligible early on, but they had a different reason for not getting it. They drew on past experiences with getting shots and having moderate to severe allergic reactions, so for them they're naturally cautious of receiving shots of any kind.
Most likely, you'll be fine. The most common experiences we've come across is fatigue along with sore arm and aches, so I would definitely say prepare for that. But overall, the side effects from the vaccines for us have been generally minimal and short-lived, and you shouldn't be nervous at all to get it.
So please get vaccinated if you were thinking about it, and let's finally get back to normal.