In the United States, the COVID vaccine is available to anyone over 12 years old for protection against severe COVID disease and death. Many have not taken advantage of this, either by not getting fully vaccinated or not getting vaccinated at all. Most of these people, aside from those who will be getting them due to vaccine mandates, are unlikely to get the vaccine any time soon.

In the meantime, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are still producing vaccines and more companies are working on them and hope to get approval soon. So what are we going to do with all this vaccine?

Clearly, some of it will be used for anyone 12 years old and older who want to be vaccinated, for the second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to complete the series, for any who will need it to comply with vaccine mandates, and children less than 12 years old once they’ve been approved for them.

The recent FDA and CDC discussions and decision was about who to begin giving booster shots to, not whether or not booster shots are effective (

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White flags on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. representing over 600,000 lost to COVID-19.
Photo by Joe Flood

Every day I read stories on the Internet and in the newspaper of the deaths of previously healthy people who died of COVID-19. They were good people, caring parents, working people who seemed like responsible citizens. What they all shared was not being immunized against COVID-19. 

Maybe they were just “vaccine hesitant” — one of those who wasn’t convinced of the value and safety of the vaccines. Maybe they didn’t understand the true implications, or perhaps it’s more accurate to say the lack of implications, of an “emergency use authorization” by the FDA rather than a full approval. 

Perhaps they believed they were healthy enough that they didn’t need the vaccination. They harbored the belief that their immune system was functioning well. After all, they felt they were healthy, exercised regularly, and took supplements.

Maybe the possible side effects of the vaccine were what discouraged the vaccine-hesitant. Most people who receive the vaccine have no

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The number of new COVID-19 cases in our country is increasing again. This is occurring almost entirely in unvaccinated individuals. Despite this, the vaccination rates are declining. One of the major deterrents to vaccination is the misinformation being spread by social media and some news outlets. This blog will identify and attempt to dispel some of the common myths about COVID-19 vaccines.

Myth #1 They are dangerous because we don’t know enough about the side effects. 

When it comes to vaccinations, over a century of experience has shown that side effects are almost always seen within the first two weeks after the immunization, and definitely by two months. Since there have been over 365,800,000 doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines given over the last 8½ months in the U.S alone, there is little likelihood that there are any unknown short or long-term side effects.

As far as being dangerous, the most important point about vaccine side effects is that they are usually minor compared

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August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Vaccines are a vital part of healthcare at all stages of life and offer the best protection available against many potentially devastating illnesses — especially COVID-19.

The ultimate goal of protecting the world’s population from the COVID-19 pandemic can likely only be achievable through the equitable distribution of vaccines. There are currently three vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 for all adults and children as young as 12 years old​​.

Vaccines have been a crucial part in developing children’s health for decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages parents to follow an immunization schedule for babies and young children, protecting them from 14 life-affecting diseases. Pre-teens and teenagers should begin to inoculate against meningococcal diseases (meningitis or septicemia) and HPV

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The COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder of the important role immunization plays in preventing infections. Vaccinations contribute to stopping epidemics/pandemics  and greatly benefit public health. Like polio and influenza before it, vaccinations against the novel coronavirus will be a major part of trying to stop the global pandemic. Vaccines are vital to herd immunity and preventing infection without causing the disease.

The Immune System

To understand how vaccinations work, it is necessary to know something about the human immune system which is responsible for fighting off and protecting against infection. The primary component is white blood cells. To fight infection, white blood cells react to proteins on the virus or bacteria surface called antigens. White blood cells can fight infections directly or produce a variety of defenses. There are many types of white blood cells, each playing a different role in the body’s fight against bacteria and viruses.

Neutrophils and Macrophages

White blood cells called neutrophils

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