I just want to preface this with this article is in no way, shape, or form trying to discourage you from getting the COVID vaccine. This is merely a heads up that you may want to hold off for a bit, or at the very least, talk to your Primary Care Physician and/or an allergist before getting the vaccine if you decide to.
As someone who is prone to anaphylaxis, I'm just passing the word along in case you suffer from it, too, and didn't hear about what's happened with some of the vaccination cases. From the start of the vaccines (whether Moderna or Pfizer, at that point) first being administered back in December, there were concerns of anaphylactic reactions being triggered as a side effect, as reported on the CDC website.
If you're not familiar with what anaphylaxis is, it's basically the most severe allergic reaction you can get. Not just the sniffles, not just a runny nose, not just an upset stomach -- anaphylaxis can kill you. Your throat swells and begins to close, which cuts off the oxygen to your lungs and brain (which can actually cause you to start losing vision and seeing nothing but darkness).
It's actually a lot like this scene in the movie Hitch, where Will Smith's character, Alex Hitchins, has an allergic reaction to something he ate while attending a cooking class. Granted, this is set up to be a comedic scene, but this isn't really that far from the truth (with him trying to clear his throat because it's closing, and his face swelling because of the reaction.)
Thankfully, the CDC website reports that anaphylactic reactions are found to be rare reactions when it comes to the vaccine, but the possibility is still there. In fact, after thinking that perhaps that side effect had calmed since it hadn't been talked about in a while, I heard yesterday of a circumstance where a woman received her second vaccine, was cleared to leave after the 15-minute waiting period following the shot, and had an anaphylactic reaction shortly afterwards where she had to go to the hospital, then proceeded to have a second anaphylactic reaction while in the hospital.
Again, I want to be clear -- this is NOT trying to scare you or convince you to not get the vaccine. But if I had an appointment booked to get the vaccine and I had a history of anaphylaxis but didn't know about these side effects and reactions, I'd want to know. For no other reason than anaphylactic reactions are just annoying and draining on your entire body (plus, ya know, the chance of death part.)
Talk to your PCP or an allergist beforehand, be safe, and a pro-tip -- don't post your vaccine card on social media. You're just asking to get hacked by showing some kind of person info, that way. Go with the ole "Hey look, I got my sticker saying I got my vaccine!" selfie instead.
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.