Editorial: Get vaccinated


The ISD Editorial Board encourages everyone to get vaccinated when they are eligible and lists resources for finding appointment times and locations.

Editorial Board

Everyone ages 16 and older will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations beginning Monday, Gov. Kim Reynolds said. Since many Iowa State students are displaced from their typical health care networks, here are some basic routes to access your vaccinations. Remember to consult with a health care professional before receiving the vaccine.

If you are given the go-ahead to receive the vaccination, we urge you to do so. Unfortunately, this pandemic became tainted with politicization and fear. If it puts you at ease, President Donald Trump, Sen. Mitch McConnell and President Joe Biden have all released statements supporting the vaccine. 

More importantly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports these vaccines as “safe and effective.” Moments of global suffering are defined by how people do their part to end them. By getting the vaccine, you reduce the prolongment of this pandemic. You save a life; you save lives. If we want a new normal, this is our avenue to get there. 

There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. The manufacturers are Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both require two injections. For Pfizer, the second dose should be administered 21 days after the first dose; its efficacy is 95 percent. For Moderna, the second dose is given 28 days after the first dose; its efficacy is 90 percent. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine only requires a single injection; its efficacy is reported at 72 percent. 

While the efficacy of each vaccine may lead to an impulse preference, it should be noted that these statistics are all extremely positive. The CDC reports the annual influenza vaccine reduces an individual’s chance of contracting the flu by 40 percent to 60 percent.

Iowa State University compiled a landing page with portals to vaccine information, vaccine rollout phasing and vaccination locations. It is a great starting point for local information tailored to college students and faculty. 

How do you find a vaccine? The current government-run website for finding a vaccination site is Vaccinate.Iowa.gov. Simply enter your ZIP code and travel radius and the website will populate a list of vaccination sites with links to their respective websites. This option is best for those who already have a firm idea of where they want to receive their vaccine. It lists links to nearby big-name medical clinics like McFarland. 

Some of these providers already have a firm system in place for the prioritization of who will be vaccinated. For example, McFarland Clinic is currently reaching out to patients in their 60s with vaccination doses. Iowa State University students may not be eligible to use their services yet. 

The prioritization of doses to older individuals due to limited quantity is understandable. Coronavirus impacts elderly Americans more severely than younger Americans

However, there are distributors in the state, outside of Story County, who have begun vaccinating younger Americans due to surplus. Currently, grounds including smoking, obesity or asthma can necessitate an opportunity to schedule with these distributors. 

For those on Twitter, we recommend following the @IAVaccineAlerts page. This account is run by a private citizen who posts quick updates and links to numerous distributors of the vaccination. The link will take you to the distributor’s website, where you can quickly schedule your first and often second doses of the vaccine. Common vaccination sites currently available the past few weeks include Algona and, more recently, West Des Moines. 

If you do not have a Twitter account and wish to look into local pharmacies’ vaccine availability, Hy-Vee and Walgreens both have easy-to-navigate websites and a variety of locations for individuals. Options for wide-scale vaccination “events” and individual appointments are provided. 

Even after you receive your vaccination, remember to still follow masking and social distancing recommendations by the CDC. The vaccine’s impact on an individual’s capacity is not yet entirely known.

If we want a new normal, a nationwide vaccination movement is an avenue to get there. This is one of those glorious moments when your personal commitment to well-being broadens to impact the wellness of many. Pandemic, death, hospitals and needles — these things can be scary. Do something brave. Get vaccinated, save lives.