Transitions With Jean Blog

Vaccine = Freedom!

February 7, 2021

Thank you, Wisconsin! In November, our COVID-19 cases had climbed to about 6,500 new infections a day. You listened. You masked up more, cared about others more. Our numbers have fallen to about 1,500 per day. We aren’t out of the woods yet, but your actions helped.

Now the vaccine is here. Have you wondered if you should get it? Stop listening to friends, clerks, and neighbors. Instead, let’s get advice from a professional.

I chatted with Prevea Health President and CEO Dr. Ashok Rai. He explained it simply.

First, we talked about COVID-19. Remember last year when it really hit Wisconsin? We thought we’d stay home for a month and it would go away. Dr Rai said, “The only way out of a pandemic caused by a virus like this is an effective vaccination. That is what we all have been waiting for and now we are able to deliver it.”

He explained, “COVID-19 gets into our body and latches onto our organs and creates havoc. It is called a spike protein. We have all seen the cartoon picture of a ball with spikes on it; very similar to other spike proteins seen in other viruses.”

How did this vaccine got done so quickly? “All that history helped scientists sequence that, then we used technology that we have been working on for years.”

“The solution was to use a genetic sequence called Messenger RNA. Then we asked, how we can deliver it into the body to a targeted set of cells, then make it disappear?”

“You remember the show, Mission Impossible? ‘This is your mission, these are your targets, this is how you destroy them, …this message will self-destruct in five seconds.’ That is Messenger RNA. It delivers the message into our body, to specific cells, just where it is injected. We introduce a spike protein that looks just like COVID-19. It survives for a little time in your arm, then is dissipates. Your body recognizes it as not being normal, so it generates an immune response, and it remembers that response. Then, when COVID-19 comes near you, you’ll be able to defend against it.”

“We do not put COVID-19 in your body.”

“Once we found the solution, we needed to make sure it was safe. We had standard trials, like we would have done with any medicine or vaccine. We found that of all the vaccines that we ever made; this is one of the safest.”
What about side effects? “You might not feel great after the first shot. You will feel soreness in your arm, maybe a little fever or chilling. You may be tired. Those are great signs - not side effects. That is your body’s immune system killing that spike protein.”

“With the second shot, it will be a little more pronounced. You will feel it. It may last a day or two. That is a good thing. If it is bothersome, take a couple of Tylenol and you should be good.”

On WBAY, Dr. Rai shared: “A gentleman approached our staff and said he was having a side effect from the vaccine, and quickly the staff says, ‘What’s going on?’ He goes, ‘I have hope. For the first time in a long time, I have hope.’ Best side effect ever. We’re injecting hope.”

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