We need full disclosure and transparency on COVID vaccines side effects


USA Today

Nurse Tiffany Dover reaction to receiving the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine alarmed many in this vaccination process.

Tiffany Dover, is a nurse manager from Catholic Health Initiatives Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is one of the first healthcare workers to take the COVID vaccine. However, shortly after receiving it, she remarks “I’m sorry, I’m feeling really dizzy”, before fainting. There have been many cases of different “side effects” of the COVID vaccine. Of course her fainting wasn’t a result of the COVID-19 vaccine, but of a condition she had where she faints after being in pain called vasovagal syncope. The video of her fainting went viral, and led to many people questioning the vaccination and the trust in the health system.

A History of Distrust in American Health System

About around a century ago, a bacterial infection, by the name of syphilis, infected many people in the U.S. The US Public Health Service launched the Tuskegee study for black males who had syphilis to get “treated”, but this was not the truth of the study. The study recruited black males to get “treated” but in reality it was to learn if black people with untreated syphilis progressed differently from white people. There was never any intention in trying to help them treat this infection, even after the treatment was released, they never received it. The federal government never tried to help, but instead allowed people to die from the infection, and many hundreds infected their wives, infecting their children to be born. Due to this experimentation, many people of color have shown hesitation in taking any of the vaccines for COVID-19.

There are three vaccines currently in rollout, the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine, Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, and the Moderna vaccine. After a long 2020 the release of these vaccines can be seen as a ray of hope, but these vaccinations come with side effects that are not being disclosed to recipients.

Most Doctors are stating the the Astrazeneca and Moderna Vaccine is more ‘friendly’. But if they have no other choice but to use the Pfizer vaccine, they will.




Astrazeneca Vaccination

The Astrazeneca vaccination is one of the three vaccines created to fight the COVID-19 virus. After many volunteers had allowed themselves to get vaccinated the outcome resulted in Bell’s palsy, an illness to where half of the muscles on your face go numb for either a temporary amount of time, or permanently. There have also been other common side effects like swelling or pain at the point of injection, tiredness, headache, muscle or joint pain, chills, nausea, vomiting, fever, and more. The FDA provided the information after test runs that the Astrazeneca vaccine was average 70% effective. 

Like the fainting issue, Bell’s palsy was considered to be incidental, where the people who took the vaccine already had the condition; However tiredness, headaches, muscle and joint pains, etc. are all considered common side effects of the vaccine. 

Pfizer Vaccination

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination was the final vaccination created to tussle with the high and mighty COVID-19. After many attempts, the public still had their second guesses and opinions on how trustworthy the vaccine really was. It has mild side effects of swelling or pain at the point of injection, tiredness, fever or headache, as well as muscular or joint pain. The FDA stated that this vaccination is 94% effective with fighting COVID-19. An issue with the vaccine is that there have been many negative reactions to the vaccination due to allergic reaction.

Moderna Vaccination

The Moderna vaccination was released for Phase I/II on July 14th making it one of the very first vaccinations to be made for COVID-19. It has the common side effects, which typically lasted several days, were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain chills, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes in the same arm as the injection, nausea and vomiting, and fever. The FDA said that this vaccination was 94.1% effective against COVID-19. Yet we still encounter the same issue, is it really trustworthy enough to help us relieve ourselves from this worldwide epidemic, or is the vaccination just a hoax to give the public some sort of relief from the constant panic of getting the virus.   

Many states are moving forward at different rates when it comes to the vaccination distribution. States who are in phase 1b are only allowing frontline workers and those who are over the age of 75. Other states are in the phase 1c, which is where those 65-74 who have a higher risk of hospitalization, persons 16-64, only if diagnosed with chronic disease or pregnant, and other essential workers such as those who work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety, and public health.

This is the number of the amount of distributed vaccinations in the U.S. To read more about the vaccinations distributed and how much each state has distributed go to More Than 124 Million Shots Given: Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker (bloomberg.com)


Rebuilding Trust in the American Health System Requires Transparency from the Government

In order to rebuild trust in the American health system, to get Americans to cooperate in this vaccination effort, then there needs to be a coordinated effort to match vaccine recipients to the appropriate vaccine, according to their underlying symptoms and possible vaccine side effects. Side effects need to be disclosed to recipients so that they are not surprised and alarmed when it happens thereafter, but rather, can prepare for those side effects.

We all understand how much everyone wants this epidemic to end, to be done with quarantine, to return to our normal everyday lives, but it is important to understand that we still must remain cautious, continue wearing a mask, using sanitizer, washing your hands often, and staying 6 feet from those around you to prevent the spread. If you have considered taking the vaccine, check what phase your state is in currently to see if you are eligible to take the vaccine. Even if you have taken the vaccine, it doesn’t mean you will never get it again. Plus, there are many new strains of COVID and a potential vaccine resistant strain.  There is still risk, lives are still in danger.