A needle away from recovery


Mikayla O’Callaghan

Luke O’Callaghan, AHS graduate and current AVH Operating Room Purchasing Agent, receives his vaccine as part of the 1A group in early January.

As an enormous Covid-19 tidal wave sweeps across the United States, hope for recovery is a needle away. With two Covid-19 vaccines recently approved by the FDA (Federal Drug Association), the pandemic’s end is inching closer. However, many Americans are skeptical of these new drugs, their effectiveness, and side effects. 

Michaela Idhammar-Keptura, an Aspen resident and director of the Aspen Youth Center, has confidence in the Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines.

“Give it to me now [vaccine] stick it in my arm… If they let me take it today, I [would] take it,” Idhammar-Keptura said, “I trust that it would not do them [doctors] any good to fast track a vaccine that doesn’t help, or that is dangerous,” 

In response to national skepticism, Idhammar-Keptura questions people’s reasoning for doubt.

“I think a lot of people just don’t understand how vaccines work in general. It [vaccine] goes into your body and [treats] your cells like you’ve already gotten it,” Idhammar-Keptura said.

Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines were both developed using a new type of vaccine technology known as mRNA to protect against infectious diseases. mRNA instructs our cells to make a protein that triggers an immune response, which produces antibodies. Although mNra vaccines are new, they are not unknown and have been studied before to protect against viruses such as zika, flu, and rabies and diseases such as cancer.

Peter de Wetter, a sophomore at Aspen High School, wants to take the vaccine for more personal reasons past science. The vaccine will help him, and many others abolish the fear and stress of transmitting Covid-19 to a high risk family member, friend, or colleague. 

“I think that for my Dad, a higher risk group, I would take the vaccine to eliminate the fear of anything happening to him,” de Wetter said.

Although skepticism of the vaccine is a real fear for many, Aspen community members believe and trust the science behind the vaccines and the positive effects they will have in our community and the world as a whole.

“I think that it is great [that] they were able to come up with something,” de Wetter said. 


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