By Emma Le Breton
9 December 2021
As COVID-19 continues to affect our lives, each day more questions and confusing information arise.
This article aims to answer three of those questions, and provide some clarity for the future.
1. Why is the COVID-19 vaccine more dangerous than other vaccines?
In short data is suggesting - it isn’t, so why does it seem that way?
The media spotlight has been pinpointed on COVID-19 for the last couple years. It’s the biggest news in everyone’s lives, and a frequent conversation. The media is there to report everything about it, all the time.
Photo: Qld Government
Our human desire for pattern and clarity results in a lot of COVID related stories receiving traction, as we give into the anxiety to try and find order in this pandemic. This placed a spotlight on vaccinations and exposed every negative reaction, side-effect, and allergy, that aren’t talked about (but are still there) with all other vaccines.
Amplifying this, is the rate at which the vaccine is being administered. Over 2.8 billion vaccines have been administered globally in a very short period of time, putting the side-effects in whole populations very close together, alongside the mass amounts which have been received, unlike any other vaccine.
Whilst anaphylaxis, and severe reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine are real, these also occur in other vaccinations but aren’t under the spotlight.
As vaccinations are also unmandated, they carry a lot less emotional resistance and heightened anxiety around them, which also adds to the confusion about the danger of the COVID vaccine.
2. Why do vaccines even have side effects?
You’ve probably heard a lot of news about the side effects of the COVID vaccine. Every vaccine has side-effects, and the reason why is an organic bodily reaction.
Bacteria and infections are always entering the body, and are fought off before we even know it.
When something that can’t be fought off so easily by the immune system enters we begin to become sick, whilst our cells manage the infection.
Vaccines create a memory in our cells of a virus that’s we need to fight off, and how to attack the virus if it enters again.
“vaccines are a tool for the body to create these memory cells. So, the moment it enters the body, it knows how to fight it. In many cases a vaccine has parts of that virus, bacteria, or fungus which are dead or can’t cause any harm. In short, a vaccine is a weak version of the infectious agent and therefore not powerful enough to cause disease, but powerful enough to make the body remember how the infection moves,” says FIFARMA, a pharmaceutical company in Mexico City.
This is why side-effects occur with vaccines, coupled with the fact that they have been publicised and expected.
Linda Marsa from National Geographic recently wrote a report on the findings of placebo flu shots, with interesting results.
“The study involved more than 300 veterans over the age of 65 who were given either a flu shot followed two weeks later by a placebo injection of salt water, or a placebo shot followed two weeks later by the real vaccine,” said Linda.
“When the researchers unblinded the study to see who received the vaccine versus the placebo, the side effects were split equally between the two groups, says Robert Jacobson, medical director for the population health science program at the Mayo Clinic. “About five percent said they got sicker than they ever had been in their entire life,” says Jacobson. Half of these people had received the placebo and yet they complained of the worst headaches, or worst fever, of their lives. The take-home message here, says Jacobson: “It’s easy to confuse an allergic reaction with nervousness or emotions or even stomach upsets from anxiety.”
Anxiety is a primary factor in all things COVID, due to the out of the ordinary, lack of pattern we’re experiencing- pattern being something which humans crave.
Reaching out, to express feelings of anxiety is a crucial step in finding relief for such anxiety.
3. When will COVID-19 end?
This question is a difficult one to answer, and there’s no set-in-stone consensus, but a lot of the options look hopeful.
Whilst some scientists believe that COVID will fade out during 2022 just as other pandemics have, others have commented on the natural immunity build up and extra medical resources now available, seeing an end to the pandemic in the not too distant future.
Whilst this looks likely, areas of poverty and older populations may still be more at risk and see the virus in contained areas, just as we see in the flu.
Whilst it is possible that strains may continue to adapt at a faster rate than we can ‘cure’, a flu-like vaccine, available to keep the virus at bay, coupled with built immunity may be another option.
Photo: Qld Government
It’s also important to look at how far we’ve already come in fighting COVID.
“The pandemic isn’t over. But new cases nationally have dropped below 75,000 a day, less than half the number in August,” says Joel Achenbach, from the Washing Post.
It’s also comforting to remember all past pandemics have reached an end, or at least in the case of flu -a manageable position.
We’d love to hear the way you’ve been coping during COVID. Leave a comment and let us know.