It is with much anticipation and pleasure, I have become the second author to be One *COVID* Vaxxed Nurse. I didn’t know whether or not I would qualify for the initial group, but my institution has specified that ED and ICU staff are the primary groups to receive the vaccine, prioritized by age.
I have always had a fear of needles, due to a childhood trauma with dentists and needles, so electively signing up to be in the first group of nurses vaccinated was scary for me. I, as well as other authors for OVN, have allergies and carry an Epipen for the risk of anaphylaxis. While there have been a few anaphylactic reactions with this vaccine, the rate of anaphylactoid reactions is far below the prevalence rates for allergic reactions in the general population. While the initial clinical trials excluded those with a history of anaphylactic reactions, globally, more than 1.1 million individuals have been vaccinated with Pfizer’s COVID vaccine, and the incidence of 3 anaphylactoid reactions in that population is fairly similar with most other vaccination anaphylactoid prevalence rates (most vaccines have an anaphylactoid reaction rate between 1-2 per million, depending on the vaccine).
While I’m not a statistician and do not have access to the clinical data of vaccinations given thus far, the simple math of anaphylactoid reactions and vaccine administration seem to follow a similar expected reaction rate as other vaccines. As more individuals are vaccinated with Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID vaccine, I’m sure we will be able to track this to a much more accurate rate, through the FDA’s and CDC’s partnerships with hospitals and insurance companies (FDA’s PRISM system and the CDCs VSD System). Other institutions are also collecting self reported data about the vaccinations (See the Hero Project from Duke University).
Despite having a significant fear of needles (yes, I know…. the irony of a nurse who hates needles but gives shots pretty much every shift) I am grateful for this opportunity to join so many nurses who are making history. Nurses, as well as other healthcare professionals, have actively participated in protecting their communities through participating in routine vaccinations, and have always been on the forefront of every disease. As a nurse, it is vital that we mirror the behaviors we would like seen by our family, friends, and the community we serve. Vaccinations are such a key piece of preventive medicine, and the COVID-19 vaccines coming available will become an integral piece in controlling this pandemic.
The shot itself was painless, no different than the influenza vaccine I received a month ago or so. A few hours later and my arm feels a little stiff and sore, which doesn’t surprise me since I had COVID-19 earlier this year, and I likely have residual immunity against SARS-CoV-2. So far, cell service still is atrocious at home (no love AT&T, your cell service is either hot or cold, and your customer service is non-existent), though I will definitely let you all know if that changes. I’m wondering though if it will simply affect my personal cell, or if it will benefit my work cell and my wife’s/family’s cell phones.
As someone who is a big fan of the Mozilla Foundation, the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), GNU/open source projects, and long-time Linux user (usually Arch, go pacman), this author wouldn’t be anywhere near this vaccine if there was a tracking chip in it (I truly am surprised that I’m still on this platform, as I block as many trackers as I can online). If you’ve ever seen the size of a GPS enabled ID chip, you’d understand (especially coupled with my fear of needles) that the needle size necessary for placement alone would make me run, not including my disdain for #SoMe platforms who monetize our lives and steal our privacy. The needle size is so large, many veterinarians only chip pets when they’re under anesthesia.
So, as yet another OVN author to be One *COVID* Vaxxed Nurse, I encourage all of our readers to strongly consider taking this (or another COVID-19 vaccine) when you have the opportunity. Let’s work together to protect each other.