COVID Vaccine: How to Handle the Stress

Written By Raquel Nixon, Contributing Writer

2/18/21

It is no doubt that this past year has been difficult and unpredictable. And even with the promises of the vaccine, there is no telling how long it will take for things to go back to “normal”. Along with the stress surrounding the effects of the pandemic, there has been a lot of speculation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Concerns about the vaccine include the side effects of being vaccinated, the availability of vaccines, and whether or not it will expose a person directly to the virus. In order to manage this stress, it is important to first understand the vaccine. Doing your own research is a great way to reach a solid understanding of the effects and purpose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC website has a variety of important information regarding the vaccine and it may be a helpful source to start conducting your own research. For those concerned about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC confirms that safety is the top priority when it comes to the distribution and authorization of the vaccine. More vaccines are currently being developed. Each one, including the ones currently being distributed, will be maintained and authorized through routine processes and procedures in order to retain the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine (1).

The CDC is also assuring that the COVID-19 vaccine does not contain the live COVID-19 virus, which means that the vaccine cannot make you sick with the virus. Rather, what the vaccine does is help train the body to recognize and fight against the virus in order to help boost immunity (1). 

There are certain side effects to expect if you are to receive the vaccine. It has often been compared to symptoms of the flu. Swelling, itching, fatigue, chills and headaches may occur, but they typically pass in 1-3 days (2). A good way to prepare, if you are planning on receiving the vaccine, is to set aside some time to rest after you receive it. This way you can manage any side effects you may experience.

The COVID-19 vaccine is an mRNA vaccine that does not change or interact with your DNA in any way. The mRNA vaccine instead works with your body’s natural defenses to help train your body to protect and fight against the virus if you are to be exposed to it. The CDC assures that it cannot alter your DNA and is safe for those who are wanting to have children in the future (1).

If you are still concerned about the COVID-19 virus, there are plenty of sources for you to look over in your own research. It would also be a good idea to talk with your primary health provider about the vaccine and your concerns. Ask friends or loved ones about their experience if they have received the vaccine. Find sources that you trust and make the best decision for yourself. 

Be safe. Conduct some research. Do what is best for you.

References 

COVID-19 and Your Health. (2020, February 11). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html

NH Division of Public Health Services. (2021, January 15). Coping with COVID-19 Vaccine Stress. https://Www.Dhhs.Nh.Gov. https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/covid19/documents/coping-covid-vaccine-stress.pdf

 

Published by Counseling With Leslie

Leslie Stevens, M.Ed., LCMHC is a North Carolina and Virginia board-certified licensed professional counselor. She co-owns a successful practice in Carrboro, North Carolina. Leslie specializes in helping adults navigate stress, depression, anxiety, and perfectionism. Additionally, she is a life strategist, spiritual coach, and writer.

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