Science Lab | Photo by Soham Parikh | The Wright State Guardian
As the coronavirus vaccines become available to at-risk individuals, students at Wright State University (WSU) decide whether or not to become vaccinated. For two students, the choice to become vaccinated was an easy one.
How vaccines work
WSU professor and Chair of Internal Medicine and Neurology Glen Solomon explained that by exposing the body to weakened or dead virus cells, vaccines prepare the body to fight off the real thing.
“The vaccine’s real job is to make the body aware of specific aspects of a virus so that we know that it is foreign and our body knows to attack it,” said Solomon.
What is different about the coronavirus vaccine is that it uses mRNA to help the body build immunity to the spike protein found in the coronavirus. Solomon explained that the technology of mRNA has been in the works for several decades now.
“What’s so remarkable about these vaccines is that because they have developed this platform for mRNA, they can develop vaccines very quickly. This was really a technology that was literally designed for us to be able to have very fast vaccine development. So that’s not something that people should fear,” said Solomon.
Students getting the vaccine
WSU students who work in high-risk environments have begun getting vaccinated. There is debate about whether or not these vaccines are safe, but RCA President Jeremiah Penick and President of Association of Black Business Students Dai’Shanae Moore decided that becoming vaccinated was worth it to protect others.
“It’s kind of cool to be in the first group. It did lead to a little bit of hope because it shows that there is actual progression within the pandemic and hopefully getting back to some sense of normality. That the vaccine is out there and people are getting vaccinated added to the hope,” said Penick.
Although vaccinated, Moore says she will do what is needed to continue flattening the curve.
“I look at it as just because I got the vaccine doesn’t mean I shouldn’t wear the mask… I still take the proper CDC protocol and wearing a mask properly and staying safe because I understand that not everyone have that mindset like I do and are going to get the vaccine and that is their option,” said Moore.
According to Solomon, mild side effects are normal for vaccines as the body learns to fight off a virus.
“Those effects are things like muscle aches, headaches and low grade fever. Almost any vaccine can give you those side effects and that’s absolutely the same thing we are seeing with the COVID-19 vaccines. Those side effects are really just a sign that the vaccine is doing what it is supposed to do,” said Solomon.
Penick reports that he has only experienced mild symptoms from the vaccine.
“For the first couple days my arm hurt in the injection site honestly like it does when you get the flu vaccine. Outside of that there was a little bit of fatigue the day after but outside of that nothing out of the ordinary. It honestly felt like a normal flu shot,” said Penick.
According to Moore, the only symptom she experienced was arm soreness for a day.