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Pandemic: Endgame

Whether you’re Joe Average or Stan Lee, Jody Vance offers the same advice – take the first shot offered, and don’t lose your head.
We are in the endgame now. (Krikkiat /

Are you a Marvel fan? I’m a huge Marvel fan.

It feels as though we’ve arrived at the crescendo phase of our epic and exhausting global pandemic. To quote Dr. Strange: “we’re in the end game now.”

Engrossed and embattled, beaten down, overwhelmed, and still suffering - threadbare, anxiety riddled and stressed to point break. We find ourselves at the point where the tide turns in our favour.

The broader rollout of first-dose vaccines Canadians have been begging for is here.

If you’re between 40 and 65, your life-saving COVID-19 vaccine awaits, administered by a familiar face in your friendly neighbourhood pharmacist. It is the stuff of superpowers to finally merge access and opportunity.

Wondering why the pharmacy update isn’t coming from public health? Because the appointment process isn’t through the government, and needs no registration. Pharmacies are set to deliver in ways we’ve watched in the US. So uncomplicated, easy as a flu shot.

Supply has been arriving in a frustrating trickle.

In fact it’s exactly the same. There should be no confusion.

Supply has been an issue, for sure. We’ve watched the entire UK vaccinate with AstraZeneca, Israel with Pfizer, the US with a combination of both plus Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Here in BC, supply has been arriving in a frustrating trickle. The two mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna are the Lamborghini and McLaren arrive at a snail’s pace and are administered at top speed.

The one on the pharmacists’ table is AstraZeneca.

“But….blood clots!?”

Please, take the first offered vaccine. If your first opportunity is for AstraZeneca, here’s what Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Monday:

“The odds of the ultra-rare vaccine related complications (according to real world data from the United Kingdom) are 4 in 1,000,000. alternatively the risk of contracting COVID-19 here in BC is 4 in 100.”

In other words, you’re a thousand times more likely to contract COVID-19 than react badly to the AstraZeneca shot.

The majority of British Columbians are sprinting to their pharmacy. But for those who are not – for whatever reason – please reconsider. Any delay in vaccination just delays reaching the light at the end of this tunnel.

You’re a thousand times more likely to contract COVID-19 than react badly to the AstraZeneca shot.

No matter which brand of vaccine you get, all of them – and I do mean ALL OF THEM – confer almost complete protection from severe illness, hospitalization, and death from this horrible virus.

One buzzword messing with so many is “efficacy.” Some who are eligible and yet not booking, saying they’re looking for higher efficacy.

If you’ve ever received a shot for typhoid, cholera, and many other diseases you need vaccination before traveling – I’m willing to bet you didn’t ask which pharmaceutical company made it.

Don’t be sucked into fearmongering. And if you’re the one caught in a storm of misinformation, or feeling pressure from family or friends who won’t “allow” vaccinations – please, tell a trusted friend. If you want to get your vaccine, you absolutely can and should.

There’s no requirement to post your vaccine selfie. You can do it for yourself without telling anyone.

Because now, one can just “pop out to grab a few things” and come back with a tiny round Band-Aid on your shoulder.

If you’re caught in a storm of misinformation, or feeling pressure from family or friends who won’t “allow” vaccinations – there’s no requirement to post your vaccine selfie.

As with any vaccine, there might be slight after-effects that mimic flu-like symptoms. Some feel nothing; others spend a solid day in bed snoozing it off. Should the latter be the case, don’t panic. Just let your body to do its thing. Those symptoms are the immune response you want.

And whether it’s 24 hours or 24 seconds post-prick, keep in mind one vital fact: the relief you’re experiencing might feel like being Iron Man or Captain Marvel – but you’re not a walking superhero until you get your second doses. At the very least stay tight for 2 to 3 weeks for your body to build immunity.

Be the hero. Take the first possible opportunity to build immunity. Take this monster down like Thanos.

Jody Vance is a born and raised Vancouverite who’s spent 30 years in both local and national media. The first woman in the history of Canadian TV to host her own sports show in primetime, since 2011 she’s been working in both TV and radio covering news and current affairs.