Answering your COVID-19 Questions with Dr. Mengyi (Zed) Zha

Our first priority is the health and safety of our communities. We have listened to our community and have heard your concerns, questions and hesitancy on receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine, and we want to answer some of those questions for you.

Hesitation Statement: “I plan to wait and see if the vaccine is safe.”

More than 170 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, and on August 23rd, 2021 the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine was fully approved by the FDA. Based on large studies showing safety, this recent approval and many vaccines that have already been administered, we feel confident it has a strong safety record.

Hesitation Statement: “I am concerned about possible side effects of a COVID Vaccine.”

The side effects of a COVID-19 Vaccine are short lived, unlike the full effects of Covid-19, which can last for a long period of time and may cause lasting damage. Not only is COVID-19 pneumonia a devastating disease, especially the new variant, but also there is an illness called Long-COVID, which we still don’t know much about. But I have seen patients suffer from it, and it can render a patient disabled with pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitations, and numbness and tingling, and so on.

Common side effects of getting the COVID-19 vaccine are injection site pain and swelling, muscle pain, fever, chills, fatigue. These are actually a good sign of your body is making antibodies to help you fight the virus! These are be treated with cold compress, drinking lots of water, ibuprofen or Tylenol.

Another concern is endocarditis or pericarditis, which is inflammation of the heart after getting the vaccine. According to Dr. Paul Ofet, this is a very rare side effect, although it can be a very real side effect of the vaccine. But this event is rare and short lived, and can be cured with ibuprofen.

He has a very great analogy that I really like that says if you have a room full of 100,000 people and you give them all the vaccine, 2 of them will probably have this short lived side effect, but if you don’t give any of them the vaccine then 1,300 of them will get COVID-19, 100 will be hospitalized, 2 will get the multi- system inflammatory syndrome and 20 will die.

If you have already gotten COVID-19, it is still important to get vaccinated because the immunity that you received after having the virus may not be as strong as the protection you get with the COVID-19 Vaccine.

Hesitation Statement: “I don’t believe I need a COVID-19 Vaccine.”

The more people that get vaccinated the fewer people the virus will have to infect, and the less likely the virus will mutate to another variant, making the world vulnerable again. In fact, the areas of the United States where vaccinations rates are low, we are seeing large surges of Delta variant, which is a more contagious, and more deadly variant than the variants came before it.

Many young people don’t feel that they need the vaccine because they don’t think they will get very sick from COVID-19. Recent new study showed that you are twice as likely to get hospitalized with the new variant. And we are seeing younger and younger people who are severely sick.

I think I can say this on behalf of all of the providers and nurses who take care of people in the hospital and the Emergency Room: we are exhausted, the hospitals are full and overwhelmed, but more importantly, we are scared for the patients whom we might lose over a preventable disease.

In the past 2 weekends, I have been the on-call provider for the hospital. We had many young individuals admitted for severe COVID-19 pneumonia, some we had to transfer to other larger hospitals. Some we were not able to transfer because all the hospitals are full currently in Washington State.

Hesitation Statement: “People are still getting COVID after being fully vaccinated, so what the point?”

It is possible to get COVID-19 even after you have gotten vaccinated, but remember our goal is to get back to normal. Normal being no more restrictions and no more masks. Although there are rare breakthroughs in the community, it is not as severe when the vaccine is involved. Getting fully vaccinated lowers the likelihood a new variant of the virus emerging.

Hesitation Statement: “I’m pregnant or trying to get pregnant and this is going to affect my baby.”

If you are currently pregnant or trying to get pregnant, we still think that is safe and important to get the vaccine.

The CDC analyzed data from thousands of pregnant people who received mRNA vaccines, and found no increased risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy. Over 150,000 pregnant patients have reported to have gotten the vaccines, no safety concerns for pregnant people or their babies have been found.

On the other hand, doctors all of over the country are seeing more and more pregnant people with COVID-19 infection, and they are getting sicker and sicker with the new variant. Many are fighting for their lives and their babies’ lives in the ICU as we speak.

We encourage all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19.

We hope that we were able to answer some of your questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine. If you haven’t done so, and want to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine, give us a call and schedule an appointment with us today!