COVID-19 vaccines show promise
WED. | 02-03-21 | NEWS
The Pfizer version of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Pitt County on Thursday, Dec. 17 at Vidant Medical Center. Essential workers and people over the age of 65 are amongst the individuals in Pitt County who are considered to be in Phase 1 and Phase 2 and are qualified to receive the newly-developed vaccine. Pitt County teachers are currently scheduled to get the vaccine in Phase 3.
The Pfizer vaccines are given in two doses, 21 days apart. Based on clinical trial evidence, the vaccine is approximately 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 cases in people without a previous infection according to the CDC.
School health care managers Kara Stocks and Laurie Reed received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Friday, Jan. 8 at Vidant Medical Center and plan to receive their second on Friday, Jan. 29.
“They have a clinic set up Monday through Fridays and staff members can come in and get their vaccines there,” Stocks said.
Health care provider Becki Scarborough also received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, Dec. 28 and her second dose on Thursday, Jan. 20.
“It was very little weight, seamless essentially,” Scarborough said. “It was a very good process.”
Side effects related to the COVID-19 vaccine such as pain and swelling on the injection site, fever, chills, tiredness and headaches, are common according to the CDC. Neither Stocks nor Scarborough were faced with any severe side effects.
“The only side effect that I had was my arm was extremely sore the next day,” Stocks said. “It started to get a little bit sore that night and the next day it was very sore, but it was not anything that prevented me from doing my daily activities.”
Although the exact timeline of distributing the vaccines to different groups is undetermined, many are hopeful that this is the first step in returning to normalcy.
“I just think that the more of us that are out and about in the community can potentially spread it unknowingly, because [of the] people that are asymptomatic,” Scarborough said. “I want to be able to visit family and friends and I want to be able to travel and if I can help contribute to that- that's what I want to do.”
Stocks, like most others, wants to return to a pre-COVID-19 lifestyle.
“I would recommend anybody that is interested in getting the vaccine, that is eligible to get the vaccine, to get it,” Stocks said. “Simply because this pandemic has kind of put a halt to what our daily normal lives were, pre-COVID and I don’t know about you guys, but I’m ready to get back to the normal.”
Reed held a similar mentality in choosing to get the vaccine, knowing her role as a healthcare worker in the process.
“I personally want to see COVID go away and I think the best
Graphic by Jake Bradsher
thing we can do to halt the progress of COVID is to get as many people vaccinated as possible,” Reed said. “So I wanted to participate personally and as a health care provider, I wanted to be an example to the community of how important that it is to get the vaccine.”
Since the majority of the community is still not eligible for the vaccine, the CDC is instructing people to continue wearing masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands often to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.
Many people are anticipating the possible end of the pandemic and are hopeful that the vaccine will help with the process of stopping the spread once it is available for everyone.