Nearly a year after the first COVID case was confirmed in the U.S., citizens are now just beginning to receive their vaccinations. Vaccines can take up to decades to develop, but when the global outbreak of the virus took control of the world and daily life, the creation of a vaccine was pushed to the forefront of medical advancements in science.
Now some Iowa residents are receiving their first doses of the vaccine. The Iowa Department of Health released information on the vaccine distribution to “priority populations.” The 1b phase that Governor Kim Reynolds recently announced involves multiple tiers. Tier 1 involves first responders, police personnel, and child welfare workers. Tier 2 includes food distribution and manufacturing workers, and people who live in areas that do not allow for social distancing. Tier 3 covers government officials and people who work at the Capitol during the legislative sessions. Tier 4, is meant for individuals responsible for long term care and child safety workers. The last tier, Tier 5, is meant for people working in correctional facilities and staff. Anyone over the age of 65 and older can get the vaccine during any of the stages of the vaccine roll out beginning in February 2021.
Stephanie Proud is nutrition support dietitian at the UIHC and recently is the recipient of her first dose of the COVID vaccine.
“I had an appointment made for me the day after Christmas and I just went in to the employee health clinic to get it,” said Proud. “I just had to show my badge to check in and they had multiple stations set up.”
Both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccine require two doses. The Pfizer one 21 days apart and the Moderna one 28 days apart. There have been some reports of side effects after receiving the doses of the vaccine such as soreness, chills, and headaches.
“I only had arm soreness from the first vaccine. It was much more sore than a regular flu shot but was nearly gone by the next morning,” said Proud.
Jennifer Skelley, a registered nurse at the UIHC and a mom of three also shared her experience about getting the vaccine.
“I had some apprehension about the side effects but I was anxious to get the vaccine. I have had mild side effects from the vaccine: headache, fatigue, and arm pain,” explained Skelley. “All manageable side effects and did not prohibit me from my daily activities or work.”
Some Americans have expressed some serious apprehension about getting their shot given the short amount of time it was developed in and that the COVID-19 virus is continuing to mutate.
“I tell everyone that they should get the vaccine for all of their loved ones,” commented Skelley. “It protects everyone. If you don’t want to get the vaccine for yourself, get it for the people you love.”