Is the COVID-19 vaccine worth the risk? Essential worker and university student says ‘I believe getting the vaccine is a good idea’


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Army Spc. Angel Laureano holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

We are just a few days away from March 2021 which means the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for almost a year. Simply put, some people are ready to do anything to get this over with and return back to normal everyday life prior to the pandemic. While it is important to continue taking the recommended precautions, now we have a new way to get to brighter days quicker. With the COVID-19 vaccine now being distributed, there are many questions raising concern amongst Americans. Is it worth it and what are the side effects? Is this going to protect me and my loved ones from catching this virus?

Since the first vaccine was given in Dec. 2020, hundreds of thousands of people are getting access to it. In W. Va. alone, there have been about 500,000 vaccines given. These vaccines are widely available. In Weirton, W. Va., you can now sign up to get tested and it goes by a first come first serve list.

Personally, as someone who is around people who have gotten both rounds of the vaccine, I feel like it is a good idea. Especially if you are working in healthcare, education, or anything where you could be around people who are at risk, I believe this vaccine is a great way to make sure yourself and others are staying safe. I, myself, work in a restaurant and feel like I would feel more safe as an essential worker going to work knowing I was vaccinated and was not putting others around me at risk of contracting the virus. That has been one of my biggest fears working in a public place. Most of our customers are relatively older people, and I hate thinking that I could be putting these people at risk without realizing it. Of course, there are other ways to keep others safe which have been outlined by the CDC numerous times — such as wearing your mask, social distancing, and washing your hands.

There are, of course, some difficulties in getting this vaccine. For example, we currently do not know the long-term effects of it. Since the vaccine has only been out for a few months, we do not know what could happen a few years down the line. These questions about the long term effects are on everyone’s mind as they ponder to get this vaccine or not.

It is equally as important to note the short-term effects of the vaccine such as having symptoms of COVID-19 after getting your vaccine. Some people’s bodies may not be able to handle these short-term symptoms, and they have to consider that when going to get the vaccine. I have witnessed some people get these short-term effects, and some people go through it like a breeze. I feel as if this vaccine could be a step forward to getting back to a normal life.

For more information regarding COVID-19 questions or how to pre-register for the vaccine, please visit Pre-registration is open to all West Virginians who are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the W. Va DHHR, all West Virginia’s over the age of 16 are encouraged to pre-register through the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System. Again, vaccine supplies are limited, so pre-registration does not mean immediate access to a vaccine.