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The fight against COVID-19 and Vaccine Choices

Coronavirus disease 2019, also known as COVID-19, has affected over 24 million Americans and caused over 408,000 deaths as of January 21, 2021.1 There is hope, as there are 2 main vaccines out and a third is on the way; however, given the backlog and shortage, it is estimated that we are still a long way away from getting citizens vaccinated. In fact, it is estimated that it will be 2022 until “enough people” in LA will be vaccinated.2

First of all, what’s a vaccine do? A vaccine stimulates our bodies to produce a protein called an antibody- antibodies fight disease and infection. After a vaccine shot, it can take days to weeks for antibodies to develop. Here is a helpful page on the basics of vaccines.

There are 2 main vaccines available currently. One is by Moderna, the other by Pfizer. So, how are they different?

Moderna makes an mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccine, and 2 shots in the upper arm 28 days apart is what is needed to complete the series.3 mRNA vaccines teach our cells to make a “spike protein” that triggers an immune response.4 Pfizer also makes an mRNA vaccine, and 2 shots 21 days apart is what is needed to complete the series.5

Differences between the two vaccines6

Efficacy- Pfizer 95% at preventing symptomatic Covid 19 7 days after the second dose, and Moderna 94.1% 14 days after the second dose. Of note, Johnson and Johnson is also coming out with a vaccine that requires only one injection; however, efficacy is 70%.7

Age- Pfizer equally protective across age groups, Moderna slightly lower in people 65 and older. Pfizer was studied on 16 year olds and older, Moderna on 18 years old and older.

Dose- Pfizer 30micrograms, Moderna 100 micrograms

Side effects– injection site pain, myalgias (muscle pain), fevers, headache. There were a few cases of Bell’s Palsy in both groups.8 Side effects reported more after the second injection, and moreso in younger adults vs. older adults.

There are a number of people who are skeptical about the vaccine. After all, the vaccines were approved quicker than any vaccine in history (both under emergency use authorization or EUA).

For those who want to wait, or for those who are unable to get the vaccine- Chicago may be months wait, and Cincinnati anyone over 65 is eligible to receive by February 8 per Ohio Department of Health9 – you can still get tested for COVID 19. Work and travel may require clearance, and at StrIVeMD we perform nasopharyngeal swabs to rule out active COVID 19 infection (antigen test) and will provide documentation.

At StriveMD Wellness and Ketamine in Chicago and Cincinnati, in addition to offering COVID antigen testing, we offer intravenous (IV) ketamine infusions to help with depression, anxiety, and a variety of treatment-resistant disorders. We also focus on vitamin and hydration therapy to help with immunity and wellness that have been compromised from poor mental health. With a team comprised of physicians board-certified in adult and pediatric anesthesiology, neurology, pediatrics, pain medicine, and functional medicine, we are the most comprehensive team from the nation’s best medical institutions to take care of patients of any age including adolescents and geriatric patients. We work with your mental health provider to ensure the safety and effectiveness of our program. If you or someone has a mental health disease that is worsening or fighting a chronic medical condition, please call your healthcare provider or go to the emergency room. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to email us at

"We see patients in the following locations: Skokie, Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, Miami Beach, Florida, Miami Florida, Frisco, Texas, Dallas, Texas, and surrounding areas of Illinois, Florida, and Texas. Call us to book your appointment today."

Take care and stay safe.

StrIVeMD Wellness & Ketamine, Chicago and Cincinnati



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