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Answers To Your Questions About The COVID-19 Vaccine

If you own a smartphone, or know someone who does, you may have heard a lot of hype attached to the COVID-19 vaccine. Stories about people having severe reactions, including death, about the vaccine changing your DNA and even making you traceable have been floating around. These stories have resulted in a lot of mistrust surrounding the vaccine. For this reason I’m publishing this post to answer some questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. These answers are not mine, by the way, they are brought to you by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website put there to educate the public on this important vaccine.

  1. What vaccines are available in the United States?

Three vaccines are currently authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States—Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

2. Is the vaccine safe?

Based on evidence from clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people without evidence of previous infection; the Moderna vaccine was found to be 94.1% effective  while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 66.3% effective.

3. How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?

The COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States work by building immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19. When someone is infected, the body’s germ-fighting apparatus made up of macrophages, b-lymphocytes and t-lymphocytes (white blood cells) go to work to fight off the infection. This can take several weeks. After the infection has passed, the body keeps a supply of white blood cells which produce antibodies to fight off the virus. The COVID-19 vaccine works in the same way without you getting sick.

4. Should you get vaccinated?

All three vaccines are recommended for persons 18 years and over. Once your doctor gives you the all clear, you should strongly consider taking the vaccine. If you are a diabetic or have kidney disease, you are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. Severe illness from COVID-19 is defined as hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death, according to the CDC.

5. Who should not be vaccinated?

The CDC states, “If you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—after getting the first dose of the vaccine, you should not get a second dose of either of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.” If you develop hives, swelling or wheezing four hours after receiving the vaccine, you are having an immediate allergic reaction. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a weakened immune system, the CDC recommends you talk to your doctor about getting the vaccine. See information for specific groups.

6. What other side effects might you experience?

Some people experience site pain and flu-like symptoms during the first 48 hours, but many people don’t. These side effects are an indication that your body is building protection. The CDC advises that you speak to your doctor about using over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve your symptoms. However, you should not take these meds prior to having the vaccination in an attempt to prevent side effects. Note that side effects after your second shot may be more intense than those following your first shot.

7. What can you do after your second shot?

After you have had your second dose of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you can consider yourself fully vaccinated. If you had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you only get one dose. However, you are not out of the woods yet. You must wait 2 weeks for the vaccine to take full effect. This means you should continue to follow all the CDC guidelines for protecting yourself during the pandemic, i.e. wearing your mask, social distancing, washing your hands and the like. Once the 2 weeks have passed, you can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people and even visit with unvaccinated relatives or friends without wearing masks. The CDC explains it more fully.

I hope these answers have been helpful to you. However, I would still encourage you to consult with your doctor if you have any questions or doubts about what you see here. If we all band together and do what we ought to do, we would one day be looking at COVID-19 in the rearview mirror, but if we don’t … you fill in the blanks.

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.

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The Sobering Truth About COVID-19

As I watched Joe Biden, president of the United States, deliver a sobering speech to pay tribute to the 500,000 lives lost to COVID-19, my eyes filled with tears. If the truth of this pandemic hadn’t sunk in before, I think it did today.

Dressed in black, the President and First Lady, the Vice President and First Gentleman appropriately reflected the atmosphere of mourning outside the White House and in the country. The United States has the dubious honor of having the highest number of deaths in the world–more than all the people killed in all the wars we have fought, and enough to fill the whole of Arlington cemetery.

Many of those who have died did not have a proper funeral. Loved ones were not there to bid them a final good-bye and to have closure for their own grief. Many people died, and are dying, alone. My sister-in-law died alone.

But today, following that short ceremony at the White House and the ringing of the cathedral bell 500 times and the flying of the flag at half mast on federal buildings, those who died finally received the long-awaited farewell. And those of us who are left behind have now achieved closure. We can go on with our lives, knowing that our loved ones died that we might live. As the President said, they were not ordinary Americans, but extraordinary.

They were the ones who were slammed by a disease before they even knew what hit them. But now, because of them, we know better. We know we can be proactive and take the vaccine. We can be proactive and wear our mask, wash our hands, and avoid gatherings. We can save our lives and that of others. Is it too hard to ask?

I shivered when I saw the six figures on the television screen. It’s not the type of six figures we like to boast about. It’s not a number, nor a bank account balance. It’s lives lost, lives that will never return–mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends. And as I stared at the numbers, I asked my husband, “Do you think we’ll get to a million?”

I hope not. I think not. As long as we look out for ourselves and each other, the six figures will soon be a painful, distant memory. God bless.

Want to know more about getting the vaccine and what to expect? Go to this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect.html

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Coronavirus and Diabetes – What You Should Know

Wash hands regularly

If you live anywhere on this planet, you would be affected, either directly or indirectly, by the coronavirus or COVID-19. To date, there are over 100,000 cases worldwide and that number continues to rise. As you know, if your immune system is comprised or you have a chronic illness, you are susceptible to the disease. So, what does that mean for type 2 diabetics?

As with any epidemic – in this case it’s pandemic – many bogus claims of cures and remedies are being circulated. I came across some information on ConsumerLab.com that I found to be very helpful. I hope you will too. Consumer Lab tests and reviews many products for quality, appropriateness of strength, dosage, and value. Many people have been inquiring about the use of supplements to treat coronavirus. Here’s what Consumer Lab had to say about some of them:

Zinc: According to Consumer Lab, an email written by a pathologist recommending zinc lozenges to ward off the virus has gone viral. Zinc does have anti-viral properties and one laboratory study has shown that it can inhibit the replication of the coronavirus in cells. However, Consumer Lab states there is no evidence at this time to show that zinc lozenges can prevent or treat coronavirus.

The article issues other warnings about the use of zinc lozenges:

  • daily doses of zinc lozenges usually exceed tolerable upper limits and therefore should not be used for more than a week.
  • excessive use of zinc can cause copper deficiency.
  • zinc can interfere with the absorption of antibiotics.
  • zinc nasal gels or swabs can lead to loss of smell.

Vitamin C: Maybe you already take Vitamin C as part of your daily regimen. Consumer Lab says that doing so can help you fight off infections and boost your immune system. Taking 500 mg twice daily can also reduce the severity and duration of a cold, but there is no evidence to suggest that taking Vitamin C after you get a cold will help to get rid of it. The normal recommended daily allowance of Vit. C is 75 to 120 mg. You can get about 80 to 90mg from a cup of orange juice, or an orange, a cup of sweet peppers, a kiwi or tomato juice.

The article reports that many websites and videos are recommending extremely high doses of Vitamin C, as much as 5000 mg to ward off COVID-19. These high doses of Vitamin C can cause diarrhea, and even increase the risk of cataracts.

Vitamin D: To maintain a healthy level of Vitamin D in the body ( 20 to 30 ng/mL ) you need between 400 to 800 IU daily. This may reduce the risk of respiratory infections in children and adults. Higher doses may be taken to boost low levels, but there is no research suggesting that Vit. D can reduce the risk of infection by coronavirus.

You can get Vitamin D by exposure to the sun at least three times a week for 30 minutes. This is where your physical activity comes in. You can also get Vitamin D from fortified products such as milk, dairy and some plant-based milks. You may also take supplements in the dosage mentioned above.

Coronavirus is a serious illness and not to be taken lightly. Please make sure you have your meds on hand and follow the advice of the CDC. There are many myths and pieces of misinformation circulating out there. Please be careful. If you feel sick or are in doubt about something, call your doctor before using any of the products you see advertised on some sites. And if you are in need of a coach to help you reach your healthcare goals, please contact me. Consultation is free and you are under no obligation to buy anything.