Last Updated on April 22, 2021 by Morris Green
For people recovering from addiction, the question posed by the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t as simple as it might be for others. Indeed, one study conducted at New York University Grossman found that people diagnosed with addiction are both at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and less likely to get the vaccine than the rest of the populace. There are good reasons for this, and demystifying the C19 vaccine and how it operates will help people diagnosed with addiction to make a choice on how they will perceive the vaccine, and if they’ll make the choice to get it while navigating their recovery.
Vaccines haven’t always had a clear history in the USA. Indeed, NPR points out how the drug companies that are often responsible for causing and exacerbating addiction then have a hand in the recovery medicines associated with drug-related problems. These are well founded concerns, but there is plenty of evidence to show the C19 vaccine is different. Most of the vaccines have come from publicly transparent and funded development, and news cycles have focused on the collaborative work conducted across the world to ensure that the C19 vaccine is readily available and delivered under the proper conditions. Furthermore, many vaccines are not being developed for profit, and are being funded logistically through governments – there isn’t a clear conflict of interest.
How they work
Vaccines work in different ways. The Moderna vaccine, for example, one of the most common in the USA, is based on mRNA technology. According to the CDC, these vaccines work by using DNA from the COVID-19 cell to ‘teach’ the body how to respond. Unlike some vaccines, they don’t use any live virus, and so cannot make you ill with C19. They have been held to rigorous standards to ensure their safety. Other vaccines deployed by the US authorities, such as Pfizer, work in the same way, whereas the Johnson & Johnson vaccine works slightly differently and has been paused.
Do they work?
All vaccines work differently, and people have different reactions. The Mayo Clinic has taken steps to try to address concerns, and has put together a list of concerns and myths that they have either busted or given perspective to. Ultimately, the choice over whether to get vaccinated or not is one that only an individual can make. There may be stipulations in the future over whether a vaccine has been received or not, but, right now, the roll out will impact on every American and give them the opportunity at some stage. It’s natural to feel some apprehension, especially given the history of some vaccines, but the information is there to be understood.
For people recovering from addiction, trust can be hard to find, especially for pharmaceutical companies. However, with transparency, the federal authorities – and those of other countries – are trying to make the decision easier for everyone. Do your research, and speak to trusted healthcare professionals, but the information is out there.