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Should I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine? 

man receiving a covid shot
In this video, Masada Homes Psychiatrist, Dr. Anandhi Narasinham, shares her COVID-19 vaccine experience and knowledge in hopes to ease any concerns anyone may have with getting vaccinated.

Video Transcription

Hi, everyone. I was asked to do this video about the COVID vaccine and specifically kind of just share my experience about it and what I know and hopefully address some concerns that any of you might have. 

I just got my first dose today and I feel fine, a little soreness around the injection site, kind of the same as if I got a flu shot, that’s how it felt. And otherwise, I don’t have any fever or anything like that. A little tired, but I also had a lot of carbs today. But so I am doing okay. I’m doing great. 

I wanted to talk a little bit about my experience with how I decided to take the vaccine and why and so forth. First of all, I want to express my deepest condolences for everyone in the Masada family that has lost a loved one. There are no words, and I am truly sorry for all of your losses. My husband’s cousin passed away from COVID as well. So, it’s affected all of us in some way or another. 

So, with respect to how I got here and the vaccine, well, one of the reasons that I decided to take it is because I’m hearing a lot of feedback from doctors out in the field and healthcare workers and nurses, I’m part of the Physician’s Support Line hotline, where we talk to frontline workers, and COVID is very bad as you all know. And people are dying, there’s not enough hospital beds, they’re running out of oxygen in Southern California hospitals. Ambulances are just having to circle around for hours because there’s nowhere to bring patients. And they’re seeing a lot of young, healthy people who have no major medical issues getting really, really sick from COVID and dying.

COVID causes strokes and there are autopsies that showed there are blood clots in pretty much every organ of people who’ve died. And there are a lot of people, even if they get out of the hospital and survive are ending up going in a nursing home or are disabled. So, things like having a stroke can have major consequences, and now, that can be a lifelong disability that has to be treated lifelong. So, these are grave consequences. It’s not like the flu, it’s a lot worse than the flu, and people can get really, really sick. And it’s just a luck of the draw who’s getting really sick and who’s having a milder illness. 

And the other thing, as you know, is people are most infectious in the beginning. So, before they feel they have symptoms, they are spreading it, and that’s how it’s spreading so rapidly all over the world. I totally understand skepticism about the vaccine. I was too in the beginning because I was like how can there be a really quick vaccine rollout? Is it going to be safe? What about down the road? You know, there are no studies looking at it for long-term. So, I had all these questions, but the more reading I did about it and the more I talked to my other medical colleagues, it seemed like the right thing to do.

As far as the risks of getting the vaccine, there’s been about over 11 million doses administered in the U.S. and there’s been one death. And that death is a 52-year-old man, and currently, he got the Pfizer vaccine and it’s under investigation whether his death was due to the vaccine or not. He actually had a brain hemorrhage. That’s how he passed away. So, they’re investigating that. And then there has been close to like 30 cases of allergic reactions. Like anaphylactic allergic reactions, people who’ve had allergies, but that’s out of, you know, 11 million people. So, kind of based on that, it seems like the risk of getting really sick from COVID or dying from COVID or becoming permanently disabled from COVID is a lot worse than some of the potential side effects of the vaccine. So, that’s kind of the reasoning that I used. That is with the data we have now that’s with all the information available to us. So, I felt totally comfortable taking it. And by now, like a lot of my medical colleagues and so many other healthcare workers have already had it I mean had their second dose. So, I felt pretty comfortable taking it and I feel it’s the right decision. I don’t, you know, judge people who are worried or concerned, these are I think totally appropriate. I think as far as, you know, people working at Masada, one of the issues is we work with very high-risk populations who are at high risk for getting COVID. So, if you’re out in the field and you’re talking to these patients and you’re in their homes, you’re already at higher risk for getting COVID. So, that’s one thing to think about.

Secondly, you know, a lot of our patient population, if they get COVID, they’re more likely to get really sick from COVID. There’s a lot of severe illness coming in minority communities and we represent those communities. Some of us you know, have been working with minority communities. And if they see us get the vaccine, they may be more likely to want to get it themselves or be curious about it or at least listen to education about it. Because what matters is representation and they, you know, see people who are like them getting it, they may be open to it. You know unfortunately this country has a long history of medical racism, like with the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. So, people are rightfully concerned that maybe they won’t get the same vaccine someone else is going to get that doesn’t look like them or they’re going to be administered something that’s harmful. So, there’s a lot of factors like that that go into these decisions. But I still think that it’s mostly safe to get the vaccine. Can I predict 10 years from now or 15 years from now? No, but based on the fact that it’s an mRNA vaccine and what I know about it, it feels pretty safe. 

A lot of pregnant healthcare workers are getting the vaccine because COVID does cross the placenta, and a lot of them have felt comfortable enough to get it. So, that’s my two cents on it. If you guys have any questions please feel free to email me or call me and I’m happy to talk about it some more. I do encourage you to at least think about it, at least look into it, and if you’re out in the field, really consider it because I don’t want any of you to get really sick from this virus. It’s a nasty virus and I want it to go away soon. Okay. Thank you.

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