As the first vaccinations for COVID-19 begin to be administered, many people are questioning whether they should receive one or not. From paranoia regarding the speed at which the vaccines were developed and tested to uncertainty about their personal health and how the vaccines may affect it, the concerns are varied and legitimate.
There are several categories of people who should be hesitant about being first in line to receive the vaccine. It is important to note, however, that this is not necessarily because the vaccines present any sort of danger to those in these groups; instead, it is because not enough testing has been done including those in these categories.
An incredibly low percentage of COVID-19 cases occur in children, and the vast majority of those are mild or asymptomatic. Because children are at such a minuscule risk of developing severe cases of COVID-19, they represented only a small fraction of the people tested in the vaccine trials.
Because of this—and the fact they’re hardly at risk to begin with—children do not need to receive early iterations of the vaccines.
Neither vaccine’s trial included pregnant women, meaning that the safety of the vaccine for people who fall into this category is unknown. Because pregnant women do face higher risk of complications from COVID-19, relevant data regarding the vaccine is needed quickly. Until that data is generated via controlled studies, though, pregnant women should probably refrain from getting vaccinated.
There are certain ingredients included in the vaccines that people may be allergic to. If they are allergic to any of these ingredients, they should not receive either vaccine.
Those with weakened immune systems should be especially cautious when considering getting vaccinated. While there is a chance such individuals would be fine—neither vaccine includes a live virus—more researcher must be done to confirm this theory.
People who have had COVID-19 and recovered from it carry antibodies that studies have indicated may provide immunity to the virus for several months if not years. While that data is anything but conclusive, there’s a good chance they do not need the vaccine right now.
Not only should recovered COVID-19 patients not be first in line for the new vaccines due to their immunity, but the vaccines have also not been intentionally tested on anyone in this category. As such, those with persisting symptoms could see their condition worsen.
Until there is more data regarding the safety of the vaccines in those who have recovered from COVID-19, they should probably not get vaccinated.