People are gathered to get COVID-19 vaccination.
/Photography from Yang Ji-min
While the COVID-19 vaccination began on August 26th for people aged 18 to 49, concerns about vaccination are growing day by day. They are mainly about side effects after vaccination and breakthrough infection with COVID-19 despite receiving the secondary vaccination. Although there are voices of concern among people, there are also those highlighting that the emergence of vaccines will protect people from COVID-19. In Dongguk University, students who are living their daily lives after being fully vaccinated are often seen. Therefore, the Dongguk Post met some of them, and listening to all their stories related to vaccination.
Kim Hyeong-jin, Junior, Department of English Interpretation and Translation
Kim Hyeon-jin, Sophomore, Department of Chinese Language and Literature
Q. Did you get the vaccine? What kind of vaccine did you get?
Hyeong-jin: Yes, I have completed the second vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine.
Hyeon-jin: Yes, I have completed the second inoculation with the Moderna vaccine.
Q. How did you get the vaccine?
Hyeong-jin: I joined the military and got vaccinated. Since soldiers had priority in vaccination, I was able to get it by preemptively.
Hyeon-jin: I was vaccinated through the “No-show” vaccine. (No-show vaccine is a remaining vaccine left as the scheduled recipient did not appear for vaccination in time.)
Q. Why did you get the vaccine?
Hyeong-jin: Before getting vaccinated, there was a demand survey on whether to get vaccinated. At that time, I thought I would be able to serve in the military without feeling more anxious if I get the vaccine. Also, if I did not get vaccinated, I expected to have disadvantage for my vacation, so I got the vaccine on my own.
Hyeon-jin: When I was vaccinated, most of the vaccinated people were only in their 60s in age or with special occupations. Unlike now, the death toll was relatively small, so the public was not as alert as it is now. Therefore, I thought that getting a vaccine without thinking about the risk of death would set me at ease and gave me some policy conveniences, and then I succeeded in booking the no-show vaccine, so I got it.
Q. How was your physical condition after getting the vaccine?
Hyeong-jin: When I received the first Pfizer vaccination, I only had mild muscle pain in the inoculated area. However, when I received the second vaccination, I suffered side effects accompanied by cold and body aches the day after the vaccination.
Hyeon-jin: At the time when I got the first inoculation of Moderna, the injection itself did not hurt, but for five hours, the inoculated area had a high fever. My right lymphatic and wing bones began to hurt, especially at the inoculation site. Then, 30 hours after the inoculation, a fever began to develop, and the pain as if I had been vaccinated with chills all over my body began to come. Also, I had a terrible headache. After the second inoculation, there was nothing different except pain in the inoculation area, so the second one recovered much faster and was less painful than the first one.
Q. Before and after getting the vaccine, is there anything you think has changed?
Hyeong-jin: There are often unfortunate cases of death after getting vaccinated, but I actually do not feel much difference between before and now. Since I have never faced COVID-19 directly, I think it is difficult to verify the stability of the vaccine.
Hyeon-jin: I do not know whether social perspective has changed. However, I think I have moved away from the risk of infectious diseases compared to others even though I cannot completely rule out the risk of breakthrough infection myself.
Q. What would you recommend people to prepare before getting vaccinated?
Hyeong-jin: I hope you go to get the vaccination with a comfortable mind. There are many articles saying that people have experienced side effects, so I think most people have a sense of rejection and vague fear of vaccines. However, I do not think you need to be too nervous. I recommend you to take painkillers such as Tylenol regularly after getting the vaccine. Muscle pain in the vaccinated area lasts longer than expected, so I think painkillers are essential.
Hyeon-jin: I think it is a good idea to prepare acetaminophen-based medicine (such as Tylenol) in advance. Recently, there have been cases where Tylenol cannot be bought because it is sold out, so I recommend that at least two pills be prepared in advance.
Q. As a person who has already completed vaccination, what is your opinion on vaccination?
Hyeong-jin: I think it is better to get a vaccine than not. Getting a vaccine creates another barrier against COVID-19, so it is more reassuring than living without being comfort.
Hyeon-jin: I think that the vaccination is positive. Of course, many people are worried about the risk of death or pain after vaccination. However, in my opinion, this situation will continue indefinitely if even the vaccine does not immunize. Therefore, I hope we can get an opportunity to have a collective immune system through vaccination.
Q. What do you think of the future that COVID-19 vaccination will bring?
Hyeong-jin: If the entire nation gradually gets vaccinated, the COVID-19 pandemic situation that will improve. I hope that the spread of vaccines will be an amplifier that will bring us closer to the end of the pandemic, which we desperately desire for.
Hyeon-jin: It is said that when an inoculator is infected with COVID-19, it passes like an asymptomatic or normal cold. Therefore, even though it will be difficult to hope for a complete end to COVID-19, I think it will clearly help lower the mortality rate like a common disease.
Q. Why did you not get vaccinated?
Yu: Compared to other vaccines, I was anxious because I could not clearly know the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. Also, I did not think my body was strong enough to withstand the side effects.
Anonymous: I do not think the safety of the vaccine has been fully secured yet, and I have underlying diseases such as arrhythmia and immune diseases. Therefore, I have a great fear of vaccination.
Q. Have you ever felt anxious or endangered when you went out because you were not vaccinated?
Yu: There is some anxiety about the existing coronavirus infection, but I am not particularly anxious because I have not been vaccinated. Even if you get vaccinated, you are not completely free from the threat of COVID-19, so not getting vaccinated does not seem to have a significant impact on the existing anxiety about COVID-19 when you go out.
Anonymous: Yes. Not all mutations are effective against COVID-19, but getting vaccinations is better than not, so hearing about the confirmed cases around me sometimes increases anxiety about COVID-19.
Q. Many policies have begun to be implemented in favor of vaccinated people. What do you think about this?
Yu: I do not think the government’s policy in favor of those who have been vaccinated so far is bad. This is because we know that these policies can be a good means of increasing vaccination rate for governments who are seeking herd immunity for the safety of the people. However, these policies make me nervous and under pressure to get vaccinated.
Anonymous: Although it seems unfair, the government aims to inoculate many people, so I think it is inevitable to induce them. However, individuals have the right to choose whether to get vaccinated or not, and above all, they strongly oppose the act of forcing vaccination because of the risk of their lives. Rather than increasing the vaccination rate by providing benefits for the vaccinated, I hope it is better to relieve anxiety about the side effects of the vaccine, creating an environment where people who are unable to be vaccinated because of anxiety can be more relieved.
Q. As a person who has not been vaccinated, what do you think about the situation in which vaccinations are being carried out with the aim of vaccination against the COVID-19 nationwide?
Yu: I understand that the government is focusing on vaccination for the people. However, I feel a little pressure that I should get vaccinated because it seems to be difficult to keep my choice not to get vaccinated.
Anonymous: I look at it positively. I think it will be effective in reducing the number of confirmed cases and public anxiety if the whole nation is vaccinated against COVID-19.
Q. What do you think of the future that the COVID-19 vaccination will bring?
Yu: If the side effects are not severe after the nation’s vaccination, everyone across the country will have antibodies without conflict and will be able to escape the big risk of COVID-19.
Anonymous: Currently, the Corona Blue and the economic crisis are intensifying due to COVID-19. These problems are likely to be resolved to some extent, and daily life is restored by breaking away from regulations such as a ban on gatherings. Therefore, we may be able to enjoy a more free life than now.
Choi Yu-ri firstname.lastname@example.org
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