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The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has been met with a mix of differing responses. As in any case of something controversial, there are those who support it and those who do not. Arguments can be made for and against the vaccine in a convincing manner. It truly comes down to a willingness to trust those who fast-tracked the vaccine.

With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine issues and negative side effects from the doses of others, it is not unreasonable to have reservations about getting the vaccine. Many have had a negative experience when it comes to the vaccine, but in the end is it worth it in an attempt to resume some sense of normalcy?

In Kanawha County, the high schools held vaccine clinics for those interested in receiving it. As a junior in high school, I took advantage of the opportunity. The clinics used the Pfizer vaccine as it is the only one cleared for those ages 16 to 18. The first vaccine dose held little to no side effects for me, and I did not hear from any of my peers that there had been complication.

The second dose was a different story. Within 12 hours of getting the shot I, and many of my friends, developed a fever and cold sweats. This was followed by headaches, nausea and severe muscle aches to name a few side effects.

The side effects from the second dose were severe enough to render me and my peers out of working condition for about a day. I could not help but to think that while healthy teenagers could deal with the vaccine’s side effects, that a person of lesser health would have a harder time recovering from the ordeal. These adverse side effects that come with the vaccine should be approached carefully.

The vaccine has been met with scientific, political and public scrutiny. Science has been pushed to get the vaccine out quickly which is resulting in what we are seeing now. The side effects of the immune system fighting off the vaccine to create a resistance to the virus are much more severe than those of highly tested vaccines such as the flu. There have also been manufacturing issues due to the speed at which the vaccines are needed. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine being a prime example of what happens when a process like vaccine-making is rushed.

The political commentary on the vaccine has been loud from both sides. Whether in agreement or opposition with the taking of the vaccine, the argument has saturated the news coverage in the past months. While it is important to see what the leaders of the country have to say about the vaccine rollout; it is a personal decision to weigh the benefits versus the risks. As both factors are different in every situation. If you are in a good position to receive the vaccine, possible side effects and all, and you chose to, that is wonderful. If you are not adept to deal with a couple days of feeling feverish and fatigued, then it is well within your decision-making to opt out of getting the vaccine immediately.

The public has been bombarded with information left and right about the vaccine. With it finally widely available, it is time for them to make a decision regarding whether or not to take it.

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