Frazee resident gets  COVID-19 vaccine

By Barbie Porter


Frazee resident Jena Ollila recently received the COVID-19 vaccine. The daughter of Jim and Lisa Piper works at Ecuman in Detroit Lakes, which serves senior citizens. 

“I knew we were in the first group to get the vaccine and found out about a week before we got it,” she said. “There was enough for all who wanted to get the vaccine to get it, staff and residents.”

The 2008 Frazee High School graduate stated no one was forced to get the vaccine, but she wanted to in order to protect those she serves and her loved ones.

Ollila is one of those that have a history of reaction to vaccines. In the past when she got a flu shot for the second time in her life, she had a reaction that included progressive muscle and joint pain that started in her feet and worked its way up to her neck by days end.

Contributed photo
Jena Ollila received her first COVID-19 vaccination shot reently. The Frazee resident works as a nurse at Ecumen in Detroit Lakes.

“I was hesitant to try that again,” she said. “I saw my doctor and talked about it and was told it is safe because it is very different than the flu vaccine and my doctor was confident I would be OK.”

On Tuesday, Dec. 29 Ollila said Thrifty White  Pharmacy visited Ecuman and provided the shots. Everyone was monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the shot, and Ollila was monitored for about a half hour because of her history of reaction to vaccines. She will receive her second dose in 28 days. 

“If anyone is hesitant, make sure to research and look into it. There is a lot of talk about putting toxins in the body, but research the ingredients of what we eat on a daily basis, and you might find that is more harmful. Also, look at the pros and cons of getting it.”

For those still waiting to get the vaccine or that have questions about it, Perham Health recently released a Q&A with Dr. Mark Paulson. The questions and answers offered by Perham Health regarding the vaccine were:

When will vaccines 

be available and 

who will get them?

Perham Health received its first shipment of the vaccine the week of Dec. 21 and immediately began to vaccinate its frontline workers. Vaccine for community distribution is expected early in 2021.

The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be given to people working in health care settings who could get COVID-19 at work and people who live in long-term care facilities. Other groups that may get some of the early doses include some first responders, essential workers, adults with high-risk medical conditions, and older adults.

 Is the vaccine safe?

Having a safe and effective vaccine is a top priority. There is no live virus in the vaccine so you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. Even though the vaccine was developed quickly, the science behind creating the vaccine (messenger RNA) has been in development for over a decade. Nothing has been skipped in the science and research to determine the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine. Tens of thousands of people have participated in the clinical trials testing the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.

 How effective is 

the vaccine?

The vaccine provides 95 percent protection from contracting COVID-19 after completing the 2-shot series.

 What are the side effects of the vaccine?

Side effects of the vaccine are typical of those that one would experience with any other vaccine; low-grade fever, body aches, headache, and injection site pain, redness, and swelling. Side effects are a sign that your body is doing its job accepting the vaccine and building antibodies.

I’ve already had 

COVID-19. Do I need 

to get vaccinated?

Yes. We do not know how much protection is provided from having had the virus, or how long that protection lasts. Science indicates you should still get vaccinated, because the vaccine is much more predictable in its level of protection and immunity. If you have recently had confirmed COVID-19, talk to your primary care provider about any concerns.

I’m likely to survive 

COVID-19. Do I need 

to get vaccinated?

Yes. There are three reasons you should receive the vaccine:

1. We have a social responsibility to protect others. Even though you might not be at high risk for becoming seriously ill or dying from the virus, we all have a responsibility to not spread it to others that are at high risk. The more people that are vaccinated, the fewer people there will be to spread COVID-19.

2. We need to develop immunity as safely as possible.

The risk of getting the virus can lead to long-term health consequences and even death. The vaccine has not been shown to cause any of these complications. COVID-19 will continue to be in our society indefinitely. It will be one of the viral illnesses just like chickenpox, measles, influenza, etc., that we live with. At some point in our lives, we will all need to become immune to the virus. Science indicates the vaccine is a safer and much more predictable method of achieving immunity.

3. The quicker we develop immunity, the sooner we can unmask and get back to normal. It is estimated that when 75-80 percent of the population is vaccinated, the country will develop immunity. It is possible to have this accomplished by springtime if we all do our part and get vaccinated. The sooner we get vaccinated to protect our family, friends, and neighbors from COVID-19, the sooner our kids can go back to school, restaurants, bars, and businesses can reopen, and we can gather together once again.

We are all in this together and we need your help. We know there is an overwhelming amount of information being published regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Please remember to get your information from reliable sources. Take some time to learn about the facts and talk with your primary care provider if needed, so that you can make an informed decision that will be best for you and your family.

Until we reach immunity through the vaccine, continue to stop the spread and save lives. We strongly urge wearing a face mask, maintaining a 6’ distance from others, washing hands frequently, and stay home if ill.