The post The Next COVID-19 Wave Could Hit Young People Hardest appeared first on Fatherly.
The post The Next COVID-19 Wave Could Hit Young People Hardest appeared first on Fatherly.
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When the Covid-19 made its way to Navajo Nation, activist Allie Young found her mission. Young was born in Navajo Nation, and moved back to stay with family during the pandemic. In March 2020, she founded “Protect the Sacred,” a grassroots initiative to educate and empower Navajo Youth, and young people throughout Indian Country. “We’re supposed to receive quality healthcare for being pushed onto reservations, but that hasn’t been the case. And the pandemic has revealed how broken the infrastructure is in our healthcare system,” said Young. When the stimulus package was announced, the Trump administration didn’t initially include Navajo Nation. In June, a federal judged ordered the Treasury to distribute $679 million in Covid-19 relief to tribes after it was withheld for months. “We’re still mourning our loved ones who should still be here. They were preventable deaths,” Young told Yahoo Life. “It’s about protecting what we have left. And we always say the little we have left because our people, our languages, our cultures have been decimated since first contact.” One of the main missions of “Protect the Sacred is to preserve the culture and language of Navajo people. With the Covid-19 disproportionally affecting older people, Young spread education on how to protect tribal elders. She sees their role in Navajo Nation as one that is irreplaceable. “Learn our language. Learn simple phrases in Navajo and post that on Tik Tok or Instagram like many other young Indigenous people,” said Young. "We think about our elders and all of what our ancestors have been through for us to be here today. And then we think about our youth and future generations. I’ll do anything for my people."
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As more and more people become vaccinated, it’s comforting to think we may be able to safely travel again soon. The post A pediatrician shares how to travel as safely as possible during a pandemic appeared first on In The Know.
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Vaccine is the buzzword of the minute. Everyone is talking about getting a vaccine, scheduling a vaccine or who has received a vaccine.
Yesterday, President Joe Biden announced that every adult in the U.S. will be eligible to get vaccinated by April 19, a full two weeks ahead of his original deadline. Over 63 million Americans are fully vaccinated, and more than 108 million have received at least one dose, a total that comprises over a third of America’s population. With herd immunity now being an attainable goal, experts are already looking ahead: Vaccine makers have begun to turn their attention to COVID vaccine booster shots. Booster shots are additional doses of vaccines, that “are given either to pump up decreasing immunity or to fight against a new variant,” explains Jill Grimes, MD, a family physician based in Texas. Not every vaccination requires a booster, she says: Tetanus vaccines require a booster every 10 years to build immunity toward the illness, while people typically only need one series of measles shots in childhood. “The flu vaccine, however, must be boosted every year, not because our immunity from the previous year is fading out, but because the virus is mutating and changing enough that last year’s protection no longer works,” Dr. Grimes says. “COVID virus acts more like the flu virus, as we are seeing new variants emerge.” As of now, it’s unclear when exactly we’d need to start getting boosters; experts are still determining how long the current vaccines will offer adequate immunity against COVID-19. The results of a study released this week showed that the Moderna vaccine continued to offer protection six months after the second dose. “Most scientists expect that immunity will extend at least to one year,” Dr. Grimes says. She notes that right now, the current vaccines are also seemingly effective enough against the emerging new variants. “But if we start seeing fully immunized people getting significant disease from newer variants, then yes, a booster shot would be developed targeting that variant,” she says. “Frankly, that’s the beauty of the mRNA vaccines, because they can be easily modified!” But if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that there’s value in acting early. Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson have all indicated that they’re looking into creating booster doses of their vaccines. Dr. Grimes says that, at first, people would probably be encouraged to get a booster of whatever vaccine they first received (if you get the Moderna shot, you’d get a Moderna booster). But, she adds, “At some point in the future, I would not be surprised if it’s okay to ‘mix and match.’” Over a year ago, Refinery29 spoke to Jennifer Haller, the women who received one of the very first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S., the then-unapproved Moderna vaccine. A month ago, Haller agreed to re-enroll in the trial to receive a booster shot. She got back on the phone with Refinery29 to update us on her experience. Refinery29: So you got the booster shot! What was that like? Jennifer Haller: “I got a booster shot four weeks ago. They contacted me at the end of February to say that they were offering a booster shot for phase 1 trial participants. And if we wanted to accept, that would re-enroll us into the study for another 12 months. The goal is to get through really early indicators of how this booster shot might work, and what kind of efficacy they have. “It was an easy decision for me. For one, I wanted to get the booster to improve my own safety. But more importantly, I wanted to be part of the study, which is going to allow us to get some early indication about how we might administer boosters to others.” Refinery29: Did you experience any side effects from the booster? How did it compare to the actual vaccine? “The phase 1 trial that I was in is all about testing safety in humans, so they start with a small dose. I had 25 microgram doses of the vaccine. The regular dose ended up being 100 micrograms. But this booster dose was 100 micrograms. I did experience side effects, which was exciting to me — it means my body knew what to do or how to build up a defense! It wasn’t too bad. The next day, my arm was very sore and I had a little bit of nausea and a temperature with chills. But that resolved within a few hours.” What comes next? “The process is similar to what I did before: For the week following the booster I tracked my symptoms or any side effects. Then I returned one week later and two weeks later for blood draws; tomorrow is my four week post blood draw. And then I think there will be three-month, six-month, and 12-month checkups.” We first spoke over a year ago now, right after you received the first dose of the then-unapproved Moderna vaccine. Back then, everything was so uncertain and scary. What’s life been like more recently? “Two weeks ago I was able to see my parents for the first time. They also had their first and second shots, and it was two weeks after my booster, so we were all fully vaccinated and felt comfortable. It was really wild to be able to walk into their house without a mask on, and to sit down and have dinner. It had been over a year. “About a month ago, I was contacted by a large Facebook Group of participants of the COVID-19 vaccine trials. They tracked me down and invited me to join the group, and I received a really beautiful, overwhelming welcome from people who said that I inspired them to participate in the trial. It’s a real acknowledgement of the power of leading by example. But also of the exponential effect that my one act had on inspiring others to join the trial; and their action likely inspired others as well. It’s a beautiful thing to experience that exponential growth from one small act.” Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Pfizer vs. Moderna Memes Are Full Of HopeThe Biggest Dating App Flex Is Being VaccinatedPeople Are Dressing Up To Get The Vaccine
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After receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, many people feel relief — and many also experience some temporary side effects, including nausea, muscle pain, and headaches. Doctors agree that, unless they last longer than a few days, none of these reactions are cause for concern. But now, people are worrying about a new, previously unreported side effect: heavier, early, or otherwise irregular menstrual periods. In February, Kate Clancy, PhD, asked her Twitter followers whether any menstruators had noticed anything odd after receiving the vaccine. “A colleague told me she has heard from others that their periods were heavy post-vax,” she wrote. “I’m a week and a half out from dose 1 of Moderna, got my period maybe a day or so early, and am gushing like I’m in my 20s again.” Dr. Clancy’s replies were inundated with similar stories. Some said they started spotting unexpectedly; several mentioned that they were experiencing period symptoms, including cramping and bleeding, for the first time since getting IUDs or going through menopause. And similar conversations are happening elsewhere on the internet, too: There are numerous threads on Reddit tracking the relationship between menstruation and the vaccines. After her tweet gained traction, Dr. Clancy began collecting information for a scientific research study devoted to the vaccine’s impact on periods. As of now, there’s no scientific evidence of a direct connection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has been tracking side effects through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), at least 32 people reported changes to their periods — but this isn’t a huge reason to worry, since around 56,000 people were included in the report. However, there are a few possible reasons for the pattern documented on Twitter and Reddit. Heather Bartos, MD, a Texas OB-GYN, says that any change in stress level (even if that change is just pure, straight-up relief) can impact your period. She’s observed these changes since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and since people have started to get vaccinated. “Just the stress of the pandemic, people have come in with menstrual irregularities, not having periods,” Dr. Bartos tells Refinery29. “I always say, a one-off or a two-off period is not a concern. But when it gets to be a three, four, five, they’re all different, that’s a little more concerning.” Dr. Bartos adds that it isn’t unusual for people with IUDs to notice unusual bleeding when they get a cold or other flus and infections. And if you’re experiencing side effects from the vaccine, particularly a fever, you might notice a more painful period. These symptoms, rather than the vaccine itself, could affect your cycle — and research has shown that, due to estrogen levels, people who menstruate are more likely to experience a stronger immune response and more powerful side effects. “If you’re having a fever, everything’s going to kind of ache. When I get a fever, the joints that are more prone to arthritis will hurt more. The areas that are prone to weakness will just ache more,” Dr. Bartos says. “So if you have a history of endometriosis or adenomyosis, or these kinds of things where it’s just not normal tissue and it gets crampy anyway, it’s likely to get worse if there’s a fever.” Periods and menstrual pain are far too often medically overlooked and written off — just look at how long it takes for someone to be diagnosed with endometriosis — so any possible connection between menstruation and the COVID vaccine is worth investigating. Dr. Bartos notes that the vaccine is still new, and there’s still a lot for epidemiologists to study. But right now, there’s tons of evidence supporting the fact that even the worst of the vaccine’s side effects are temporary and harmless. “People think that the side effects of vaccines are harmful, and they get worried when they look at it and read into it, but it’s actually a good thing,” Abisola Olulade, MD, a San Diego-based physician, tells Refinery29. “It tells us that your immune system is working, and it’s responding in the way that we want it to.” Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?What Happens If You Don't Have A Vaccine Reaction?COVID Vaccine Booster Shots Are ComingThe COVID-19 Vaccines May Have Surprising Benefits