The Ins and Outs of the Emerging COVID-19 Vaccines


Image courtesy of Glenbard West art student Brooke Benson

Although it may be hard to believe, we are rapidly approaching the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus.

There are only two vaccines that are currently authorized by the CDC: the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Three additional vaccines are in phase three clinical trials. All of these vaccines work in different ways but work in similar fashions and have related effects. The CDC writes that the vaccine contains materials from the virus or proteins which carry instructions for cells on how to create lymphocytes that will kill the germ when detected.

It is still possible to get the virus even when vaccinated. The CDC highlights that if there is not enough time for your body to produce lymphocytes after receiving the vaccine, then there is a chance you can still get the virus. Symptoms may not be apparent or you may have lessened symptoms. Therefore it is keen to continue all precautions in order to stop the spread. The vaccine does have a list of side effects, and while you may feel some, you may also feel none at all. You may experience a fever, chills, or pain at the injection site. This is completely normal, and even a good sign. The CDC explains that these are “normal signs that your body is building protection.” 

It may seem far-fetched and impossible to book an appointment for the vaccine, but there will soon be a surge in availability for it. The CDC states that the federal government is working toward making vaccines widely available for everyone at no cost.” Vaccines are beginning to be administered at your local pharmacy or doctor’s office. Eventually, scheduling an appointment will be similar to that of a flu shot, but as of now, you can register through this link to be informed when appointments are available in DuPage County.

According to Becker’s Hospital Review, Illinois has 80.39% of distributed vaccines that have been administered. That is 2,416,034 vaccines administered out of 3,005,345 which have been distributed to the state. One year ago, there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel, but with recent progression, slowly, there is a bead of light upon the horizon.