What you need to know about vaccinations


Yi (Steven) Yang

Many places such as Safeway and CVS are now offering COVID-19 vaccinations. People may sign up on its website.

Yi (Steven) Yang, Staff Writer

With Safeway and other local pharmacies receiving the vaccine, sign-ups for the COVID-19 vaccinations have begun. 

(Check out this AVT article for information on who can get it and why.)

Millions of people in the US have already received vaccinations, and millions more are lined up to receive one later on. 

“I would recommend that people get [the vaccine] as soon as it is their turn,” said Dr. Mili Shah, a pediatrician at Palo Alto Medical Foundation. 

However, while places like Safeway and CVS pharmacies makes vaccination quick and easy, some people remain adverse to it. 

“Since there are certified pharmacists working at Safeway, I think it’s fine, but, personally, I would rather go to a doctor,” said Saksham Nirvan (‘23). 

Other concerns around the vaccine stem from the constantly-changing form of the virus.

“I would take the Pfizer vaccine but not momentarily because there is still a debate regarding its efficacy as a result of its side effects. The pandemic has paused many opportunities and prospects in addition to deteriorating the mental health of many. If enough of the population is vaccinated, then life would resume to how it was before,” said Siddharth Chittapuram (‘23).

Most doctors, however, recommend people to take the vaccine as soon as possible. 

“I would recommend that people get [the vaccine] as soon as it is their turn. I got mine; we are all getting it at work. There are millions of people that have already had it. The thousands of people in the vaccine trail got it months ago and the side effect profile has been really low… If people wait, then it is going to prolong how long we are going to be in this pandemic,” explained Dr. Shah

The Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy rate is over 90%, meaning that in a controlled lab environment, the vaccine prevents over 90% of those with the vaccine from showing symptoms. 

“I would take the Pfizer vaccine because it is 95% effective,” said Aron Thakur (‘22). 

Yet with the new Japanese, UK, and South African variants of COVID, the efficacy of the vaccine against these variants remains a problematic question

(Check out this AVT article to understand what the vaccine is and how it works.) 

“It is thought that the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines will work well, but I think the specifics are still not known, and I think they will have to study this. But because both vaccines target the spike proteins and the new variants are also known to have the spike protein, so it is thought that they will still work pretty well,” explained Dr. Shah

The new vaccines have not been approved yet for teenagers 16 years old and under across the country. Trials have been running into a problem with the number of volunteers. 

“I would really encourage teenagers to join the trial as well. On the adult side, the adverse effect rate is really low, so I think it would be really safe for teenagers to take, but it won’t be released to teenagers if the trial isn’t completed,” said Dr. Shah.

For more information regarding vaccine trials, check out this website. If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 or the vaccine, you can visit the CDC COVID-19 website or contact your physician.