COVID-19 in the News

Here we will cover the latest news related to COVID-19, vaccinations, and more. Click the links to access the full article!

COVID-19 Vaccine: A Rundown

Vaccines contain small and weakened amounts (not enough to cause the disease) of antigens (which can be any virus, bacteria, or fungi). This causes the body to produce antibodies, which trigger an immune response telling the body how to fight the antigen. If the vaccinated person does contract the antigen later, the body will know how to fight it. The purpose of the COVID-19 vaccine is to help one’s body develop immunity to coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. However, if one still contracts the virus, the vaccine will aid in keeping one from getting seriously ill.

As transparency is important, we must note that there are some side effects of the vaccines. Side effects in general are not exclusive to the COVID-19 vaccine. The good news is that the side effects are temporary, and this shows that the vaccine is working, as the body is fighting the antigen.

“The key, experts say, is to weigh the temporary discomfort against the long-term benefits: a potentially high level of protection from a disease that has uprooted everyday life for many of us and has killed more than 1.4 million people globally.” – Rachel Nania, AARP

With over 67 million global cases and over 15 million cases in the United States, the COVID-19 vaccine is an essential component in mitigating the spread of the novel coronavirus. Nearing 300 thousand deaths in the United States, the coronavirus has been a very heavy burden for which the vaccine can provide some relief.

If you want to participate in ongoing trials, you can volunteer here.

FDA Holds Emergency Advisory Meeting

With the number of COVID-19 deaths reaching a record number, surpassing the amount of deaths from the 9/11 tragedy, the FDA is holding an advisory meeting to discuss whether or not the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be approved for emergency use. Research shows that the vaccine provides protection against COVID-19 and works well across diverse demographics.

However, in Britain, two vaccine recipients experienced adverse reactions; both recipients were said to have severe allergies and as a result, experts in Britain are recommending that people with a history of allergies not receive the vaccine until more information is known.

You can read more about this here.

Bell’s Palsy Possible Side Effect of COVID-19 and Vaccine

Bell’s Palsy is a temporary form facial paralysis and affects about 40,000 people in the U.S. every year. Its exact causes are unknown and most affected people recover in a few weeks or in some cases, up to 6 months. Oftentimes, no treatment is needed for people to recover, but there are some treatment options. Upper respiratory illnesses are considered risk factors for Bell’s Palsy. There have been reports of COVID-19 patients developing Bell’s Palsy. Furthermore, 4 vaccine recipients developed Bell’s Palsy.

“The observed frequency of reported Bell’s Palsy in the vaccine group is consistent with the expected background rate in the general population, and there is no clear basis upon which to conclude a causal relationship at this time but FDA will recommend surveillance for cases of Bell’s Palsy with deployment of the vaccine into larger populations.”

Is Poor Health Care and Politics Playing a Major Role in Vaccine Hesitancy?

The topic of vaccine hesitancy has become a very popular in light of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccine has had many Americans skeptical due to its seemingly quick roll-out but other factors such as social determinants of health and even political views are suspected to be playing a major role in this hesitancy as well. This article explores why individuals are skeptical to trust the vaccine when otherwise they would be trusting of their health care providers. It also touches on whether the vaccine has been too politicized and why it would be important to depoliticize it.

COVID-19 Vaccines and People of Color

Rates of coronavirus have been disproportionately affecting minority communities. While this has been proven there still seems to be an increased hesitancy among these groups when it comes to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

” Sherita Golden, M.D., M.H.S., vice president and chief diversity officer at Johns Hopkins Medicine, offers insights on the coronavirus vaccines and what people of color should know about the COVID-19 vaccines.”

She explains vaccine hesitancy is normal when a new vaccine comes out and when considering the history of minorities being neglected in regards to medicine in the U.S., the hesitancy and mistrust is understandable. Golden emphasizes the importance of educating these communities about the virus, the vaccine, and what they should expect to happen in response to receiving it.