Health officials face another hurdle as some people lack trust in vaccines
SPOKANE, Wash.– The COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of people to question everything.
Health officials haven’t been on the same page as politicians, which has only left everyone else even more confused.
“That creates ideological defenses and divides that create a very unique emotional environment for health communication to break through,” said Dr. Paul Bolls.
Bolls is an expert from the Washington State University Murrow College of Research, and he has studied how the brain reacts to science. Right now, our brains are fogged by pandemic fatigue, but at the same time, we’re witnessing a scientific breakthrough of a vaccine developed in just nine months.
Bolls called that development a sign of hope as the nation watches the science develop and offer the path back to a sense of normalcy.
So, how do health experts get people to believe that science?
Bolls said it starts with stories like this, explaining how the vaccine works.
Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccine, the latter of which is on the verge of FDA approval, are actually quite similar in how they’re made and what they do inside your body — both are considered ‘messenger RNA’ (mRNA) vaccines, meaning no virus is actually going into your body.
“It is your own cells who are actually manufacturing this protein, and then your immune system cells see that protein, recognizes that as foreign and then attacks it,” SRHD Interim Health Officer Dr. Frank Velazquez said.
We’ve asked you to send in your questions about the vaccine, so we can take them to the experts.
Jennifer asked us this question: “How long have they been able to track short and long term side effects to the vaccine?”
Pfizer has tracked side effects since starting its clinical trials early in the summer, and specifically, within its Phase 3 trial which started on July 27.
Those side effects have been similar to most other vaccines — sore arm, headaches, fatigue, possible rashes or even allergic reactions.
So far, the Washington Department of Health hasn’t reported any complications since starting vaccinations Tuesday.
Two healthcare workers in Alaska had allergic reactions just ten minutes after getting their shot this week, and there have been four other people with similar reactions in Britain.
They received emergency care and ended up being fine. The FDA says many of these reactions can often be treated with Benadryl or something similar.
This is also why each person who gets vaccinated will be monitored for at least 15 minutes after their shot.
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