As we move through COVID19 variants and try to make the best choices for ourselves, I decided to go ahead and post this. It took a year of thoughtful consideration, a whole lot of ongoing research, and honestly…almost no one asks about my vaccination status anymore, but at one point it was a very contentious topic and I did get some surprisingly aggressive comments within what I hoped would be civil conversations.
What prompted that? I’m allergic to vaccine components and the CDC recommends people in my situation do not get any of the currently available vaccines. Here’s the link to their website if you’d like to read more about it. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/specific-groups/allergies.html
I’m not an ant-vaxxer. The only vaccines I’ve ever reacted to have been influenza. All available COVID19 vaccines share a components with them. I had to be current with all vaccinations required to enroll in massage school and obtain my license as a massage therapist, and up to now the allergy was not a problem because I could just refrain from the flu shot.
Even after explaining my situation I got harsh words. Typically it was, “You are extremely selfish! You should be willing to take the risk for everyone else. Adverse reaction is still better than dying of COVID or killing someone else.” The absolute worst was, “You are going to kill your mother! How will you feel with that on your conscience?” It was a realization that people like me are acceptable collateral damage, and that can be jarring. It also fuels the desire to read, research and be well-versed on the matter.
When it was just one set of shots I truly considered taking the risk, and J&J seemed like the best option since it was only one shot. One chance at the possibility of needing the epi pen – or worse – and hoping for the best. Now we’re boosting with the original versions, as they haven’t been updated and are using the same vaccines to boost. You can read about that here: https://wgntv.com/news/coronavirus/is-my-covid-booster-the-same-as-the-original-vaccine/. So nothing new for those of us with allergies. Same risks, over and over. Not just once a year, but multiple times with no end in sight if one is hoping to keep their fully-vaccinated status current.
With that said, I’ve taken a SARS-CoV-2 Semi-Quant Total Ab; Venipuncture Antibody Test through LabCorp and antibodies against the SARS-Cov-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) were detected. What that means is at some point I had an asymptomatic case of COVID19 and now I have naturally occurring antibodies. If any of my clients would like to view these results they’re available at my office. If you’re interested, you can get the test here. Mine was only $6.00 and I got results the next day. It’s a fast, easy and inexpensive way to check your antibody status through multiple LabCorp locations in town. https://www.labcorp.com/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/individuals/antibody-test
*The one time I had any mild cold symptoms I cancelled appointments, stayed home and isolated. I did a rapid test twice, a week apart, and both were negative. Thank you to those who were flexible me me.
Now we’re seeing that even those fully vaccinated and boosted have gotten breakthrough cases of the Delta variant (some serious enough for the ICU and intubation). You can read the data from the CDC here. Not sure why this isn’t more current. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7034e5.htm#T1_down. A large number are getting the Omicron variant, which while more contagious seems (thankfully) much milder https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/omicron-variant.html.
I have decided, with CDC recommendations and discussion with my health care provider, not to get any of the shots until they make a more effective version available that is safe for those with my allergies. My HCP has recommended a medical exemption should it be mandated that massage therapists vaccinate and keep up with boosters. Since I have naturally occurring antibodies, the risks far outweigh the benefits at this time. I welcome all civil conversations about this decision.