Debunking COVID-19 Vaccine Myths
Debunk myths about the COVID-19 vaccine in this 2 Your Well-Being segment with Deanne Brooks, PharmD, chief pharmacy officer at Cone Health, and WFMY News 2.
Debunking COVID-19 Vaccine Myths
Now that people are getting vaccinated, do people still have to wear their masks and social distance from one another?
“Yes, we do. It's very important that we continue to wear our masks, social distance, wash our hands and that's very important for us to continue as we eradicate this pandemic. What we don't know about the vaccine just yet is if it is possible for us to actually be able to be exposed to COVID-19 and then possibly expose someone else, even though we don't get sick from it because we would then have antibodies in our system that keeps us from being sick. But what we don't know is if we can potentially transmit it after we've received the vaccine.
Can the vaccine give you COVID-19?
“No, the vaccine cannot give you COVID-19. It doesn't contain any infectious particles at all that would give you COVID-19. It actually is new technology that is used now. There are a lot of vaccines that actually do contain either killed or inactivated portions of a virus, and that's what makes our bodies create the antibodies, but this vaccine does not.”
Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect our human DNA?
“No, it does not. It actually does not get into the nucleus of the cell. It is innovative technology that we have actually been studying for over 10 years and it uses something that's called messenger RNA technology, and it has a little bit of the messenger RNA of the spike protein on the COVID-19 virus.”
“So if you've seen those pictures of the COVID-19 virus, often times you see these little red spike things around the spherical virus and this mRNA vaccine – both the Moderna and Pfizer are this technology - they have a little bit of this genetic code that's wrapped inside particles that then when it's injected into our body, it releases a little piece of that spike protein, but it doesn't make us sick - it stimulates our bodies to create antibodies that attack that protein and then if we're exposed to the virus, our antibodies come and will attack that spike protein as well and keep us from getting sick.”
COVID-19 Vaccine Updates
Many people want to be vaccinated against coronavirus - who is currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?
“Lots of people do want the vaccine and that's - it's a really good problem to have right now, because we know that this is how we will end this pandemic and that is vaccinating a lot of people in our community. So the people who can get the vaccine right now are health care workers who are fighting COVID-19 and treating patients with COVID-19 and all of the things that support all of that work as well, including people who are part of the vaccination effort right now. And this week, our state opened up phase 1b, group one of our prioritization framework, and that means that anyone who is 75 years old or older can receive the vaccine.”
“We started our first vaccine clinics over the weekend on Saturday and we will continue them through this week, and we had a lot of people who wanted to get those appointments. So much that, in fact, they closed very quickly and we opened more up and we still need to increase our capacity, which we are doing very swiftly.”
Once people have an appointment, what can they expect when they go to be vaccinated?
“Once they come into the building, it is a four step process. The first step is that we sign them up in the state system, which is the COVID vaccine management system. Once they sign up in that system, then we check them into our electronic health record, which is MyChart. And then step three is the really exciting part and that's where they actually receive the vaccination. And then step four is that we observe our patients for at least 15 minutes so that we can just see if they have any side effects to the vaccine. Very few do, but we do observe them for 15 minutes at least.”
Is there any follow-up after receiving the first vaccine?
“There is. So there is actually a smartphone-based tool that's called the V-Safe tool and patients and recipients of the vaccine can sign up. It's an online tool and we get reminders, and if we have any side effects that tool - the tool doesn't check in with us of course, but we'll get a reminder either through email or on our smartphone and we can say, ‘Hey, I have a little bit of nausea after my first dose, or I had a little bit of headache out of after my second dose.’ And we also get reminders from the V-Safe app, as well as from the COVID vaccine management system with the state.”