Between Moderna and Pfizer many college students are none the wiser – The Blue Banner

Sam Hager

Assistant News Editor

shager@unca.edu

From microchips to mind control, there is a lot of misinformation about the current COVID-19 vaccines. According to Channing Neorr, a second academic and religious scholar at UNC Asheville, it’s nearly impossible to sift through the lies surrounding the vaccine.

“I try to stay away from everything because I know it’s kind of biased. I feel this strange detachment like I don’t even want to look because at the end of the day I don’t know what the truth is, ”she said.

There are other reasons why students may not actively seek information about the vaccines, according to Neorr. For her, the conversation just hadn’t come up.

“I feel safe. I don’t really think about it,” she said. “It is also due to my health and my population. I am not as afraid as many others People especially do this because I don’t live with anyone who is older. “

Jay Cutspec, director of health and advice at UNCA, said misinformation was only part of the problem with the vaccines.

“The vaccine situation in our country is a mess. Despite what we’ve been told, Operation Warp Speed ​​wasn’t a very well-organized effort, ”he said.

According to the US Department of Defense website, Operation Warp Speed ​​aims to combine the private and federal sectors to accelerate the production and distribution of vaccines. However, Cutspec said he was unimpressed.

“Part of that is that we not only distribute vaccines, but also get them out of the camp and into people’s arms,” ​​he said. “There is not necessarily fairness or equal distribution as people see it should be.”

Despite frustrations with distribution, Cutspec said the very fact that we have a vaccine is incredible.

“Not only did we have the best scientists working on it, but we also had an enormous amount of resources so that they could develop these vaccines so quickly,” he said.

According to Cutspec, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are proving effective, while more vaccines begin their development in the background. In fact, students could benefit from waiting to get a more up-to-date vaccine later, he said.

“Waiting can have a certain advantage. You may get a more effective vaccine, or the vaccine may be a little better suited to the virus, depending on what’s out there. We just have to wait and see how this plays out over the next few months, ”he said.

According to Cutspec, the research he’s seen shows a vaccination rate of nearly 70 percent for the upcoming single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, while the statistics from Moderna and Pfizer are nearly 90 percent effective. While these statistics are exciting, Cutspec said students should try to keep up to date as more research becomes available.

Samantha Desotelle works at the First Resource Center as a drug professional. Her position brought her up a few stages so that she could receive her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on February 8th.

“It felt like a small piece of metal was pushed into my arm. I wonder if it was the chip – the microchip – I hope it has bluetooth, ”she said, joking about the conspiratorial thinking surrounding the vaccine.

Desotelle said most people don’t have a problem with the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, it’s the second round that causes problems.

“I didn’t hear any side effects the first time. Most people always talk about the second, ”she said. “The second is supposedly much worse.”

Her mom experienced these side effects firsthand, according to Neorr.

“She said she was just on her second round and she woke up with a really bad fever and just wasn’t feeling well. I didn’t mean to freak her out, but it made me kind of nervous, “she said.

While anecdotes like this create confusion and concern, Cutspec said the only way to know the truth is to seek it.

“Education is the key. Facts are the key. We live in a culture where facts and fiction mix, ”he said.

For students looking for the fastest way to get a vaccine, there isn’t much they can do, Cutspec said. According to him, the distribution is based on various factors, e.g. B. in which district you live.

“So if you live in a rural county, keep in touch with that county and see what phase of distribution they are in. That is the most important and probably the only thing you can do,” he said.

According to Cutspec, the students belong to the penultimate distribution phase, which means they may not see the vaccine for some time.

However, once you’ve received the vaccine, Desotelle says you’re not out of the woods.

“When people get the vaccine, it doesn’t mean they are okay with going to the store and not wearing their mask. You still have to wear your mask because they are unsure if that person is essentially going from someone who is COVID-19 reactive to someone who is more asymptomatic, ”she said.

For students wary of zombification, microchips, or worse, Desotelle said they should take a step back and consider the facts.

“I swam in French Broad so I’m not afraid of the vaccine,” she said. “I think the really worst that can happen is that your chip doesn’t have WiFi.”