By Amaya Morales
Time is passing and more people are getting vaccinated.
The weather is getting warmer and restrictions are starting to ease up.
New Jersey is starting to open up summer camps, amusement parks, beaches or anywhere that is probably outdoors.
Gov. Phil Murphy anticipates that there will be 4.7 million fully vaccinated adult residents by the end of June, as said in his COVID-19 briefing this past Wednesday.
But what does this mean as far as vaccinations go?
There are currently three vaccines being offered in the United States: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
All three have been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Depending where you go to receive the vaccine, you might be offered one over the other two.
Nonetheless, all three have benefits and differ from one another. Yale Medicine breaks down all three and explains how they work and their efficacy rate.
The first to have been approved is Pfizer, which was the first to receive an FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) back in December 2020. With this vaccine, people will receive two shots 21 days apart.
The Pfizer vaccine is a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine that “delivers a tiny piece of genetic code from the SARS CoV-2 virus to host cells in the body,” Yale Medicine reports. Since its first use, the brand reports a 95% efficacy rate.
Similar to Pfizer is Moderna, which was approved for Emergency Use Authorization a week after Pfizer. It uses the same technology as the Pfizer vaccine and has a similar efficacy rate at 94.1%.
However, receivers of this vaccine will have to wait another week or 28 days before receiving their second dose, Yale Medicine added.
Last is the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which was approved on February 27, 2021 for emergency usage.
One difference between this vaccine and the other two is that receivers will only need one dosage. In addition, this vaccine is called a carrier or virus vector vaccine.
My Personal Experience with Being Vaccinated
In my last hot take, I discussed whether or not I should get the vaccine. Since then, I have been vaccinated for almost a month.
Back in late March, I was offered by my job to receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. At first, I was hesitant but there were two things that urged me to go through with it.
A lot of my friends were getting COVID-19 even though they were wearing masks and practicing social distancing. In addition, I was starting to become afraid of leaving my house for anything other than getting groceries or going to work.
Since having the vaccine, I have felt more comfortable going out to shop and meet up with some friends who also have been vaccinated. Nonetheless, I will continue to follow protocols to protect myself and others.
I experienced a few minor symptoms in the first 48 hours of receiving the vaccine, but was back to normal the following week.
As mentioned in my previous hot take, it is important to be informed regardless of whether or not you choose to get the vaccine.
New Jersey will continue to open up and lessen restrictions as more and more people get vaccinated. As of April 28, 31% of New Jerseyans have been fully vaccinated while 50% are waiting to receive their second dose, usafacts.org reports.
Regardless of vaccination though, everyone will have to continue practicing social distancing and wearing masks.
But to be honest I could live with knowing that we are reducing the spread of COVID-19, one way or another.