My daughter – an LNA and who works in a hospital got her second COVID vaccination shot today.
With my blessings.
She has seen first-hand the damage COVID can do to patients and she knows how deadly it can be.
Not only will the vaccine keep her safe, but it will keep the rest of our family who live with her safer as well. Remember that most frontline workers come home to family members who are not frontline workers – that’s just the way it is.
Interestingly we are all on different schedules to get our shots. One son who works with children as a behavioral therapist got his first vaccine this weekend. A few of our family members will be getting their shots sooner rather than later (for medical fragility reasons) and then there are those of us who most likely will not be getting our vaccines until late spring/early summer.
Each one of us who gets vaccinated ends up protecting our entire family that much more.
When my daughter got her first shot, she reported that her arm was sore enough it was uncomfortable to hold a hanger with clothing on that side. She said that the soreness was gone the next day.
Her friends, other frontline workers, who have gotten the shots have reported that the second shot has a little bit more of a reaction. A little more arm soreness, a little bit of fatigue, a little bit of achiness. All symptoms that are gone within 24 – 48 hours.
And all signs that your immune system is gearing up to fight an enemy in order to protect your body.
My daughter’s place of work sent her home with a sheet of Frequently Asked Questions. I’ve picked out some of the questions that I keep hearing being asked from others and have included them here.
How does an mRNA vaccine work?
In human cells, messenger RNA (mRNA) provides instructions to each cell to make proteins that keep our bodies working properly.
COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions to our cells to make and release something called a spike protein.
The spike protein is not active or infectious and will not cause you to get sick with COVID-19. This spike protein is found on the surface of the virus and, while it is very small, it is enough to trigger your body’s immune response. Your body will begin producing antibodies to fight COVID-19 infection. After the cell has read the mRNA instruction, it destroys the mRNA.
Essentially, the message self-destructs.
In the future, if you are exposed to the coronavirus, the antibodies can prevent it from spreading in your body and causing an infection.
Does mRNA change your genetics or DNA?
No. Your genetic material, or DNA, is not affected by the vaccine. Messenger RNA does not enter the cell nucleus where your DNA is located. Therefore, the vaccine does not interact or interfere with your DNA in any way. The mRNA is broken down by the cell after it is used.
What if I already had COVID-19?
There is evidence that some people infected with COVID-19 have been re-infected because their immunity decreased. Vaccination will improve your protection against a future infection.
Are COVID-19 vaccines made from the virus?
There are different types of vaccines. The ones available first are mRNA vaccines. Messenger RNA vaccines are not made from the virus. They introduce a synthetic portion of viral messenger RNA (mRNA) into the body. In essence, they “fool” the body into thinking you have come in contact with the virus.
Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No, you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19. After the vaccination, as your body is making antibodies, you may experience symptoms similar to those you would have if you were fighting an infection such as chills, fatigue, or fever.
Do I have some concerns about the vaccine? To be honest, yes I do, one of my kids almost died from a vaccination reaction and we do not take them lightly.
But even still, I have more concerns about my daughter or any member of my family’s health should they contract COVID or infect other family members with it. COVID has the potential to kill and it also has the potential to significantly alter your life going forward.
So even though I have concerns, when it’s my turn to be vaccinated, you can bet I will show up and will gladly roll up my sleeve for the injection in order to protect myself, my family, and my neighbors.