Pfizer Injections Part 2

Darren Wright

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Congrats. I think my wife is scheduled later this week. I didn't have any reaction to either other than a little soreness in my arm. Her mom and step-dad got them late last week, but either had reactions or got some other bug in the meantime. My wife had to run her mom to the ER for fluids this weekend.
 

Dan Noren

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my downstairs neighbor got his second last week. not good at all. he said the pain started in his arm, worked its way up to, and including body, and legs, fever and such for about 3 days. he thought he needed to get his affairs set, then slowly he got better.

leo, if you have gotten your second, and are in theory protected, why the mask, social distancing, and so on, since you cannot catch it, you cannot spread it?
 

Charles Lent

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Now you still need to be careful, because the virus variants can still get you. You are only protected for the original COVID-19. Don't get too brave, yet.

My wife and I had our 2nd Pfizer shots near the end of March. We have relaxed a bit from the fear of getting it, as we are both a bit fragile health wise and it would likely kill us if we did get it, but we are still concerned about getting a variant mutation of the original COVID-19. Vaccines are not a 100% guarantee that we won't get the original COVID-19 virus either, but we are hoping that it will offer as least some protection and maybe a less severe reaction, should we get the virus or a variant of it. You should also be careful, because a vaccine takes several weeks to become effective, and this period may be longer or shorter, depending on your own body metabolism . I read that the Pfizer vaccine has proven to be about 95% effective after several weeks following the second shot. It isn't 100% effective. I don't know this for any of the other vaccines.

My wife and I both had tender-to-the-touch shoulders and were a bit more tired than normal for a few days following our injections, but have had no serious problems from them. We are still wearing masks in public and are using disinfectants frequently, and will likely do this for a long time to come. Hiding from the virus for this past year has really been tough. We are longing to get out to socialize and visit our friends and relatives again, but so far, even after getting our shots and waiting for them to be fully effective, we are still only allowing visits with our very closest friends, family, and neighbors, and only while all are wearing masks.

Charley
 

larry merlau

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my eye doctor got his shots, modera when they first came out, being a doctor, and still had a dose of it months later.. 3 to 5% of vaccinated folks still get it and possibly will need to be vaccinated again next year..
 

Bill Arnold

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my eye doctor got his shots, modera when they first came out, being a doctor, and still had a dose of it months later.. 3 to 5% of vaccinated folks still get it and possibly will need to be vaccinated again next year..
Much like flu, I suppose. Those of us who get flu shots know we could still catch a strain not covered by this year's shot, but we get it anyway. If that's the way it will be with COVID, so be it.
 

Vaughn McMillan

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leo, if you have gotten your second, and are in theory protected, why the mask, social distancing, and so on, since you cannot catch it, you cannot spread it?
It's my understanding that the vaccine doesn't keep a person from catching or spreading the virus. It only lessens the symptoms, which for me could be a big deal.
 

Ryan Mooney

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It's my understanding that the vaccine doesn't keep a person from catching or spreading the virus

"Catching" is a complicated term, spreading somewhat less so but fraught with complications.

The technical phrase for "can't catch it at all" would be "sterilizing immunity" which would prevent any replication before the immune system kicked in. And... yes that is not probably generally conferred... except maybe in some small percentage... for probably a pretty short period of time..

However, all of the vaccines that are generally available in the western world (<- this phrase was carefully worded) appear to provide pretty decent "effective immunity" though, which kicks in the immune system fast enough to stop replication before it has a chance to replicate enough to:
  • have a high probability of spreading to other people
  • have a high probability of causing significant symptoms or side effects
  • have a high probability of replicating long enough to mutate sufficiently to bypass previous immune reactions (this is really important)
The astute observer will note that I'm talking about probabilities there, there is still some chance of any of the above happening (back to the old saw about sufficiently large numbers of monkeys spontaneously producing Shakespear which I would personally consider thoroughly debunked by the evidence provided by the existence of the internet.. which is still an orders of magnitude smaller sample than even one short viral infection, but I digress.. the point is that with sufficiently large numbers of chances even highly unlikely things can and sometimes do happen, sometimes more frequently than you'd naively imagine).

So while there is still some large number of potentially infectious individuals (which seems distressingly likely to continue far longer than I would like..) some precautions that provide some additional reduction in the probability of events happening is sound public and, generally speaking for myself, personal policy.

I am mildly encouraged by the small number of unique mutations that have thus far occurred. Many of the mutations have occured repeatedly in different events and in slightly different ways, but there appear to be 3 or maybe 4 depending on how you count actually effective changes. This would generally bode well for follow on shots having relatively high efficacy for some timeframe.

The main risk is definitely that we still have large centers of infection, or we have large populations partially vaccinated that can provide breeding ground for further mutations that may be unique in some new way (the Brazilian P1 variant that seems to be both highly infectious, bypassing to some extent antibody reactions from previous variants, as well as well as having a strong effect on younger folks as an example of a concerning combination). So if we can reduce the probability of even mild infections, we're reducing the probability of more mutations, which reduces the probability of worse outcomes.

It's all a simple numbers game, basic statistics (which means it's also counter intuitive to about 90% of the population).

Edit: Both of us just got Moderna #2 about a week ago, sore arms, one day of feeling blechy. Nothing else..
 
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