Ready or Not, Here It Comes
Up to a third of coronavirus patients who are fortunate enough to emerge from the hospital through balloons and cheers, enter another battle. In a followup study of 381 consecutive COVID-19 patients, 115 of them had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  This emphasizes the need for more people to receive vaccinations.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes what we recognize as COVID-19. Are you rubbing your hands together and salivating for your shot of COVID-19 vaccines? Several vaccines have emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
You eagerly wait with good reason. The virus is disrupting the lives of everyone on the planet. Even people fortunate enough to recover can experience numerous side effects of unknown duration. A number of coronavirus side effects is growing. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now lists 17. 
The most common long-term symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Joint pain
- Chest pain
Other long-term symptoms include:
- Difficulty with thinking and concentration (“brain fog”)
- Muscle pain
- Intermittent fever
- Fast-beating or pounding heart (palpitations)
There are reports of less common but more serious long-term complications. These may affect different systems in the body:
- Cardiovascular: inflammation of the heart muscle
- Respiratory: lung function abnormalities
- Renal: acute kidney injury
- Dermatologic: rash, hair loss
- Neurological: smell and taste problems, sleep issues, difficulty with concentration, memory problems
- Psychiatric: depression, anxiety, changes in mood
Variant B.1.1.7 is manifest in dozens of countries, including the United States. Scientists continue to explore this mutating virus. Chase W. Nelson and other researchers have identified ORF3d. This is a new overlapping gene in SARS-CoV-2 that has the potential to encode a longer than expected protein. “We don’t yet know its function or if there’s clinical significance,” Nelson said. [3,4]
A study led by Vineet Chopra MD, MSc, surveyed the 60-day recovery of 1,250 COVID-19 patients. In addition to lingering health effects, 15% were rehospitalized. A significant number of survivors reported emotional issues. Although most patients saw a primary care provider after discharge, Twenty percent had no primary care follow-up visit within 60 days of discharge. 
The CDC warns of a slight risk of myocarditis and pericarditis in fact sheets for Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines. In 300 million doses of the two vaccines, the agency has received about 1,200 reports. Recipients should seek immediate medical attention if they experience “chest pain, shortness of breath, or feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart after vaccination.”
In the beginning, available vaccines will have selective distribution. Frontline workers in frequent contact with large numbers of potential virus carriers are first in line for vaccines. As drug manufacturers ramp up production, there will be enough vaccines for everyone. The goal is complete vaccination of all U.S. citizens by the year 2022. 
While trying to ignore conspiracy theories, we can’t help but notice the reticence of some to embrace early vaccines. It is not that the clinical data reveals specific problems. They base apprehension on a historical pattern of long multi-year clinical trials. We do not have the benefit of long-term vaccine data.
At least one doctor expresses concern over interacting with the DNA of earth’s population.  This double helix carries genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses.
There is a doctor whose rally behind early vaccines is in the spotlight. The leading infectious disease specialist is Dr. Anthony Fauci. He has advised at least six U.S. Presidents on HIV/AIDS and many other domestic and global health issues.  As one of the most prominent voices during the pandemic, Dr. Fauci says that he trusts the data if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the vaccine from a company as reputable as Pfizer.
The CDC provides the following guidance regarding contact post-vaccination.  Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:
- Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
- Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
- Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
Before FDA approval, officials were optimistic of at least 50% vaccine efficacy. The dual-dose Moderna mRNA-1273 vaccine to prevent COVID-19 promises greater than 94% efficacy.  “This positive interim analysis from our Phase 3 study has given us the first clinical validation that our vaccine can prevent COVID-19 disease, including severe disease,” said Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna.
How can you tell who has been vaccinated? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people with vaccines wear a sticker or button indicating so.  It is not a foolproof distinction since such devices can be easily duplicated, transferred, or lost. Some people cary a copy of their vaccination card or photo of it on their mobile phone.
Pfizer says it has achieved greater than 90% efficacy.  It is difficult to align such a high confidence rate with the growing list of COVID-19 side effects and the short-term clinical trials. Yet, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Dr. Fauci already rolled up sleeves for such a promising vaccine. How about you? Do you fear the cure more than the disease?
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- PTSD Prevalent in Survivors of Severe COVID-19. medscape.com/viewarticle/946456 Retrieved 22 Mar 2021
- Long-Term Effects of COVID-19. cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/long-term-effects.html Retrieved 22 Mar 2021
- Nelson CW, Ardern Z, Goldberg TL, Meng C, Kubo CH, Ludwig C, Kolokotronis SO, Wei Z. Dynamically evolving novel overlapping gene as a factor in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. 1 October 2020, eLife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.59633
- Chopra V, MD, MSc, Flanders SA, MD, et al. Sixty-Day Outcomes Among Patients Hospitalized With COVID-19. 11 November 2020. ACP Journal. doi.org/10.7326/M20-5661
- Mysterious New “Hidden” Gene Discovered in COVID–19 Virus. scitechdaily.com/mysterious-new-hidden-gene-discovered-in-covid-19-virus/ Retrieved 22 Mar 2021
- Young and healthy? You may have to wait until 2022 for a covid-19 vaccine, experts warn. washingtonpost.com/world/2020/10/15/who-vaccine-young-people/ Retrieved 22 Mar 2021
- Doctor warns that COVID–19 vaccine could alter your DNA. Retrieved Aug 6, 2020. dreddymd.com
- Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., NIAID Director. niaid.nih.nih.gov/about/director Retrieved 22 Mar 2021
- Clinical Considerations for Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines. cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html#phrecs Retrieved 22 Mar 2021
- Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine: Interim Data Show 94.5% Efficacy. medscape.com/viewarticle/941023 Retrieved 22 Mar 2021
- CDC Encourages COVID Vaccine With Stickers, Buttons. medscape.com/viewarticle/942695 Retrieved 22 Mar 2021
- ‘I Trust Pfizer’: Fauci Says He Would Take Coronavirus Vaccine Upon FDA Approval. forbes.com/sites/carlieporterfield/2020/11/10/i-trust-pfizer-fauci-says-he-would-take-coronavirus-vaccine-upon-fda-approval Retrieved Nov 10, 2020
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